By Muhammad Atif Ismail
MULTAN, Dec 06 (APP):Transport is one of main problem for working women or school, college or university going girls, in the culturally rich but backward region of South Punjab.
Women have to depend on their family members including brothers, parents, or husbands, for their outdoor movement. Sometimes, the working women have to hire vehicles for their routine outdoor work. However, they have to pay much more in case of using rented vehicles.
However, for the last few years, a positive development is being observed in south Punjab as women and girls are seen using motorcycles independently. The motorcycle ride is one of the cheapest sources of transportation. Similarly, women on motorcycles do not depend on male members of their families.
Sana Hussain, a 24-year-old girl, having a degree of master in Mass Communication from Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, talking to APP said that she was using a motorcycle for many years.
She stated that they were three sisters only. She was the eldest and her father not only allowed but also facilitated her to adopt motorcycle driving. She mentioned that she did not learn motorcycle driving from anyone but tried herself after noticing other people how to drive and then practiced it, thus remaining successful.
“I used to visit bazaar on bike independently and without any hesitation”, Sana stated. She herself could resolve some minor faults of the motorcycle also, she added. Sana apprised that she was also a cricketer. She had the honour to play with national women cricketers at Multan Cricket Ground (MCG) Nawan Shehr Chowk.
Sana Hussain maintained that she also served as instructor and enabled her male cousins to learn motorcycle driving. She stated that she did not receive any injury during
regular drive. Responding to a question, Sana said that she enjoyed all sorts of support from her family. She, however, stated that although motorcycle driving for females was termed as a cultural barrier but she was brave and she came forward because an easy transport facility was a basic requirement for female students.
Superintendent of Police Patrolling Huma Naseeb told APP that women whether driving car or motorcycle, were more careful while using roads. She stated that females were more law-abiding citizens as compared to men.
The women drivers keep complete documents with them. Huma Naseeb informed that the Punjab government had launched “Women on Wheel ” scheme to encourage motorcycle ride among women.
It is a healthy sign that women are often seen driving motorcycles especially in urban areas. She stated that women were serving in almost all sectors. Similarly, female motorcyclists should be encouraged.
District Officer Social Welfare Department Muhammad Ahmed Chishti told APP that in past, motorcycles were given to women on subsidized prices under an initiative of Punjab government.
He maintained that Punjab Bank, Traffic Police, Social Welfare Department and a private motorcycle company facilitated the bike delivery and drive training process among women.
He hailed rising number of female motorcyclists in the city and termed it a good change in the transport culture of the city. Although, the women on bikes were seen more in big cities like Karachi and Lahore.
However, the trend was on rise with every passing day in south Punjab also, he said adding that society as well as parents should encourage girls to drive motorcycles.
Officials from the Traffic Police License Branch informed that 64 driving licenses were issued to females during October. However, they added that some licenses were joint, motorcycles as well as of cars.