I n a unique move, the first radio taxi service by the LGBT community – ‘Wings Rainbow’ – has been inaugurated in Mumbai on Wednesday. Five members of Humsafar Trust, an LGBT organisation, have signed up to become cab drivers. Through the service, LGBT members will get to ferry you around town.
The taxis will be part of Wings Travels and will start operating in 2017.
According to Arun Kharat, the founder of Wings Travels, this move will help the members of the LGBT community to become entrepreneurs. He told the Hindu, “We want to ensure that the LGBT community in India enjoys the same rights and livelihood opportunities in India as their counterparts in the West.
Three gay men and two transgenders will be the first drivers.
Photo source: Facebook
In a historic judgment, in the NALSA vs Union of India case, the Supreme Court had stressed on the freedoms and constitutional rights of transgenders. It was a huge leap forward for the LGBT community.
According to activists, the judgement also led to a lot of enquiries about hiring LGBT persons in the workplace.
Pallav Patnakar, Director of Programs for Humsafar Trust, told DNA, “We found that there is a great need for capacity building among the community members, which will improve their chances in the job market. We also wanted to help them explore avenues that went beyond the stereotypical – of fashion, beauty and entertainment.”
The Humsafar Trust is a community-based organisation of LGBT persons. It has been functioning in Mumbai since 1994.
The members, who have volunteered, will now apply for a driver’s licence.
They will also undergo etiquette training.
Wings Travels also plans to increase to the fleet and hope that more LGBT community members will join them.
Let’s wish them all the best and hope that LGBT community members in our country will be able to lead dignified lives.