Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | December 13, 2014 | 04:18 pm IST Cab services in India have come under mammoth scrutiny recently after an Uber driver allegedly raped a woman in New Delhi. The subsequent outrage has now forced the government to take adequate measures against web-based cab services that function without proper registration with the government or do not implement basic guidelines, such as verifying credentials of their drivers. The incident has once again brought to spotlight how unsafe women are in the country.  The Indian taxi industry has grown into a $13-billion enterprise, including the unorganised sector. However, the issue of women's safety is not new, and a few women only cab services have been launched over the years. Viira Cabs, a Mumbai cab service, is one among them and is dishing out their service with a difference. All Of Viira Cabs drivers and passengers who use the service are women. A video report by BarcoftTV states that Viira Cab drivers have been given driving training as well as lessons in martial arts and self defence. They also carry pepper spray with them to ensure safe travel for women across the day.  With drivers trained in self defence, passengers say they feel more comfortable while travelling alone or during odd hours. Viira Cabs is the brain child of 35-year-old entrepreneur and social activist Preeti Sharma Menon. Menon, however, admits to BarcoftTV that running though the cab service is huge in demand, running and sustaining it is not easy at all. "There is a huge demand for the taxi. I am not able to meet the demand. The number of cars that we have are very less. With 20 taxis you cannot run a fleet cab business and make it profitable. It's loss making. So, I am doing this more like a social project", Menon told BarcoftTV. Watch BarcoftTV's video report here. The service also ensures that their women drivers, many of them are the only earning member in their families, are financially independent. Also read: Started with fanfare in Bengaluru, this all-women taxi service is fighting to survive

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