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Women cabbies and guides for foreign tourists
December 08, 2005 18:50 IST
From Friday, foreign tourists to Delhi will be greeted by Priyadarshini, a new government scheme that comprises women taxi drivers and guides thorough with foreign languages to drive and show them around.
Priyadarshini will be launched in Delhi on Friday under the 'Incredible India' campaign to further promote the tourism sector, which is already 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 women with language skills, who are interested 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 techniques like karate.
Observing that lady tourists are more confident with a lady service provider, chairman and managing director of Indian Tourism Development Corporation, M S Manchanda, said Ashok 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.