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Home > News > PTI

Women cabbies and guides for foreign tourists

December 08, 2005 18:50 IST

From Friday, foreign touriststo Delhi will be greeted by Priyadarshini, a new government scheme thatcomprises women taxi drivers and guides thorough with foreign languages to drive and show them around.

Priyadarshini will be launchedin Delhi on Friday under the 'Incredible India' campaign to further promote the tourism sector, which isalready experiencing an unprecedented boom.

"We need more and more people with language skills, so that they can be used as premium guides," Union Tourism Secretary A K Mishra said, adding the Tourism Ministry has identified several womenwith language skills, who areinterested in becoming guides.

Plans are also afloot to help women in arts and crafts through souvenir shops and kiosks, he said, adding this was a 'gender-specific programme. We have to do something in gender budgeting also'. The Tourism Minister is writing to state governments for this, he said.

Asked about the security for women driving tourist taxis, Misra said they would be given training in self-defence techniqueslike karate.

Observing that lady tourists are more confidentwith a lady service provider, chairman and managing director of Indian Tourism Development Corporation, M S Manchanda, saidAshok Tours and Travels has already inducted some women drivers.

The project would be extended to cover other important tourist destinations including Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, Misra added.

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