Delhi-based Manas has been working in mental health
and gender equality
and justice for 15 years. It has developed a behaviour-change module to engage men in making public transport
safe for women. They apply the principles of psychology to combat violence against women through interventions with drivers of public transport
The customised driver-sensitisation sessions are focused on safety, with specific attention given to behaviour on the platform and women’s safety.
The in-person sessions were attended by 40-50 driver partners on average. Post the lockdown, Uber piloted virtual sessions with a little over 400 drivers across Delhi and Hyderabad in December
Concerns ranged from whether the driver partners would be able to connect on Zoom, or if the same level of engagement as in person sessions could be reached.
"And surprisingly, what we found is that drivers were quite savvy, they were able to download the app, they were able to log in. And they were very participative. In some instances, their wife or daughter would become a part of the session, sharing a woman's experience about facing life in the real world, and all the challenges they face. And when someone who's the extended family member is talking all the other drivers also relate to it much better," said Vaish.
One way Uber measures engagement through this programme is check the driver partner's rating by women riders. If the difference between the driver's average rating and the rating that women gave narrows, "something about this programme has influenced the driver to handle women in a different way," Vaish added.
Another way is the feedback received through social media channels. Uber provides stickers to the drivers who complete the sensitisation programme, which they can put on the back of their car, and they also get a certificate, which they can hang behind the driver's seat.
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