Karachi: The Sindh Transport Department has launched People’s Pink bus service for women in the city . The inauguration ceremony of pink bus service was held at the historic Ferrer Hall Karachi.
Exclusive bus service for women was inaugured by women parliamentarians and women civil society members including MPA Sharmila Farooqui, MPS Marvi Rashidi, MPA Sadia Javed, renowned film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, TV anchor Madiha Naqvi , famous Drama artist Ushna Shah, Rabia Anam, Marvi Mazhar, Najia Mir and other women by cutting the ribbon.
Provincial Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon was also present on this occasion. Provincial Labor Minister Saeed Ghani, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh Qasim Naveed Qamar, MPA Ghanwar Khan Issran, Pakistan Peoples Party Leader Najmi Alam, Salman Abdullah Murad, Secretary Transport Abdul Haleem Shaikh, Secretary Information Imran Atta Soomro, MD Sindh Mass Transit Authority Zubair Chana , Project Director NRTC Sohaib Shafiq and a large number of women from media and civil society also attended the ceremony.
The dedicated pink bus service for women will initially run from Model Colony to Tower via Shahra Faisal . 8 buses will run on this route. A bus has a total capacity of 50 women. The number of seats in the bus is 24 , while 2 seats are reserved for special women in each bus. Female hostesses have been hired for bus service staff. The bus service will run every 20 minutes from 7 am to 11 am and from 4 pm to 9 pm, while the buses will run every one hour during normal hours.
Addressing the ceremony, Provincial Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the Pakistan People’s Party leadership has always made policies to empower women. First prime minister of Islamic World Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had founded First Women Bank and Women Police Stations. President Asif Ali Zardari had launched Benazir Income Support Program during his tenure and gave ownership rights of 25, 25 acres of government land to women farmers so that women could be empowered.
Sharjeel Inam Memon said that society can never progress if women are ignored. It is the responsibility of governments to provide a favorable environment for women and provide them facilities so that women can work side by side with men and contribute significantly to the development of the country. He said that the pink bus service has been started today with 8 buses, but this number will be increased further, this service will be extended to the whole of Karachi and major cities of Sindh. He said that it is Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s directive to improve the public transport sector in Sindh.
He added that central president of Pakistan People’s Party’s women’s wing, Faryal Talpur, has taken a keen interest in starting a bus service for women in Sindh.He said that the transport department has been getting the support of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for executing public transport projects . The provincial minister said that female hostesses have been appointed in the pink bus service, female drivers will also be appointed in a month. He said that Allah Almighty has blessed women with every ability.
Women are driving dumpers in Thar. Our women are flying F16 planes, it’s just a bus. He said that instructions have been given to NRTC, and soon the entire staff of pink bus service will consist of women. On this occasion, Provincial Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon announced that pink bus service will provide free service for a week till February 7.
Provincial Labor Minister Saeed Ghani addressed the ceremony and congratulated the Transport Department and particularly Sharjeel Inam Memon, who has made the pink bus service possible despite his health problem. He said that Pink bus service was needed by the citizens of Karachi, women will now reach their destination with ease. He said that this service is being started with people tax money and appealed the citizens to take care of it as their own property. He said that the transport problem of Karachi is being solved rapidly. Work on BRT Red Line is in progress and work on Yellow Line project is going to start soon.
He said that public transport system will be further improved in a couple of years in the city.
Earlier, Speaking at the event , members of Sindh Assembly Sharmila Farooqui, Marvi Rashidi said that today is an important day for the women of Karachi that pink bus service is being started for them. It was a long-standing problem of women how to go to work, now women will be able to go to their work without fear by using facility of pink bus service. Eminent filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, TV anchor Rabia Anam, Drama artist Ushna Shah and Marvi Mazhar said that mass transit system in Karachi was a long-standing problem of general public . They congratulate people of Karachi especially the women. They added that the Sindh government has taken a big step, this is magic, the women of Karachi will be saved from harassment in public buses.
They demanded that This service should be spread throughout the city.
Marvi Mazhar demanded that pink boat service should also be started for the islands of Karachi so that the women living there can have safe travel facilities.