In light of the Nirbhaya incident it was in October 2013 we approached the Delhi Transport Department to design and implement a large-scale gender sensitization programme for all autodrivers. “Building Bond” aimed at strengthening bonds of partnership between civil society organisation, public transport drivers and state public transport department. The key elements of this programme were

  • All auto drivers undergo gender sensitization training as a mandatory process embedded within the statutorily required annual health check of their vehicle.
  • Manas Foundation was the technical partner in designing and implementing the programmes.
  • Gender, gender based violence, laws relating to women’s safety and rights and professional behaviours of public transport drivers, which could make public transport safe for women and girls, were the key components of the sessions.

Building Bonds was supported by Ford Foundation until 2014 Delhi and more than 50000 auto drivers were engaged in this programme

In 2014, “Building Bonds” with thousands of auto rickshaws carrying the slogan “Mera Imaan Mahilaon Ka Sammaan” could be visibly seen all over the city of Delhi. This caught attention of Indraprasth Gas Limited (IGL) because the programme aligned with its mandate of providing healthy, safe and cost effective solutions to private and public transportation. In late 2015 Manas Foundation entered into a formal partnership with IGL to scale up the programme and take it to the next level of public transport, which was taxi. The implementation strategy remained same and Delhi Transport Department consented to extend its support of keeping the trainings mandated as part of the annual health checkup of the vehicles.

By the end of 2016, “Building Bond” reached out to more than 2 lac auto and taxi drivers

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