Thursday, March 22, 2012

KOCHI: ‘Ashwamedham,’ the all-women bus service is on a rickety road. Launched three years ago, this bus service is running on a no profit no loss mode. The bus service which was started with much fanfare was the first of its kind in the state. The women crew said that the meager salary they get from the bus service providers is not sufficient to meet their needs.

“We have been getting a nominal amount as salary which is not enough to meet the daily need” said Kavitha, the conductor of the bus. The bus is under the Community Development Society (CDS), Maradu. They said that they have been constantly asking the authorities to increase their daily wages but to no avail. When asked Sajitha Basheer, chairperson, CDS, said that they could not give a hike to the buss staff as the amount procured from this service is comparatively low. “We have asked a for a route change. Hopefully, we will get the sanction,” she said.

Three years ago, Maradu panchayat paved the way for the bus service which was to be run by an all-women crew. Thus, started the journey of ‘Ashwamedham’. The bus ply from Kakkanad to Nettoor. This was an initiative of by K A Devassy, the then-president of Maradu panchayat who decided to do something different and substantial. Now, Devassy laments that Maradu Municipality is showing scant interest in the activities of the bus.
“Maradu Municipality was then a panchayat and it took the initiative to buy the bus, but now is giving a cold shoulder to the issue,” he said.

published in the New Indian Express


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