Jai Bharathi started the Moving Women Social Initiatives Foundation (MOWO) to create a safe and reliable commute option for women and in doing so empower women to become self-reliant and confident.
She has launched a one-of-a-kind tour called Moving Boundaries Tour covering 11,111+ km across the country to raise awareness about gender inclusion in sustainable mobility and encourage women to earn a livelihood through riding.
“When I started the journey from Chennai, I met a squad of women who not only drive cabs, autos but also ambulances. These women have already set an example for other women in the city. The campaign is an effort to increase awareness about the role of women in sustainable mobility and institutionalize the concept of female drivers,” says Jai Bharathi.
Bharathi is touring India on her motorbike for over 40 days, covering 20 cities. “Women all over the world face restrictions on their mobility. They are unable to travel long distances to acquire decent education or take up jobs that involve complex or unsafe commutes which results in a restricted pool of job opportunities. I am very excited to take on this 40-day journey on my motorbike across the country to meet women from all strata and hold workshops to make driving an aspirational and achievable employment choice for them. Creating a safe environment where women have access to reliable transportation and they can drive their vehicles to earn a living is a great way to increase employment opportunities for women in a sector which has predominantly been male-centric. We have already covered cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and would now be covering Kochi, Goa, Pune, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Lucknow, Allahabad, Patna, Guwahati, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, among others. My team is also joining me on the tour. While covering the three cities, we listened to many inspiring stories from the women there. We wanted to encourage women to pick up driving skills and remove roadblocks within the ecosystem to increase their job prospects in transportation businesses including as taxi and e-rickshaw drivers or as delivery agents for e-commerce companies,” the avid traveller adds.
Bharathi is hoping to gather inspiring stories from each city and share them with other women across India. “In today’s world, women need to acquire the power of driving and travelling safely to expand their horizons in all aspects of their lives. Not just enabling women to learn driving but we want them to own electric vehicles to generate income which in turn can also reduce carbon emissions from transport,” she concludes.