Mumbai: Shiv Sena has asked cabbies and autorickshaw drivers affiliated to the party to ensure safety of women passengers hiring their services on the eve of New Year.
"Over 16,000 rickshaws and 10,000 taxis affiliated to 'Shiv Vahtuk Sena' all over Mumbai will be following the ground rules set up for them for the night of December 31. We have told all our drivers that it will be their responsibility to ensure that every woman reaches her home safely after celebrations," Haji Arafat Shaikh, president of Shiv Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of the party, said.
Shaikh said the party has asked the drivers to keep a close watch on anti-social elements and alert police immediately.
"We have taken it upon ourselves to ensure safety of women as auto and taxi drivers are best poised to keep an eye on mischief-makers because they roam in every nook and corner of the city," he said.
Shaikh said Vahtuk Sena is keen on dispelling the popular perception about drivers by making them stake-holders in ensuring safety of women passengers.
"Drivers have always been criticised for many things. They are accused of over-charging and refusing fares. But everything will be different on the night of December 31. They are told not to refuse to ferry on, both long or short routes, to any person especially a woman. It will be their responsibility to ensure that passengers reach their home safe and sound," he said.
Shaikh said other unions from Pune, Navi Mumbai, Thane have responded positively to Sena's initiative and that drivers will work in tandem with police to ensure safety of women and families.