About Women on Wheels Academy
Our Women on Wheels Academy provides residential training in Jaipur to enable resource-poor women from across India to become professional chauffeurs and confident and independent individuals.
The objective of the Women on Wheels Academy is to take the programme to places where Azad Foundation is not present, directly or through a full-fledged partnership. The Academy provides residential training to resource poor women mobilised by NGOs in their home cities. Once their training is completed, the NGOs take responsibility of placing the trainees as private chauffeurs.
The Academy launched in February 2015 in partnership with six organisations from five different locations. In the first year, resource-poor women from Himachal Pradesh, Kota and Ajmer in Rajasthan and Ahmedabad in Gujarat studied at the Academy, all acquiring permanent licenses and getting ready for their first jobs. In 2016 we worked with five NGO partners that sent nine women to train at the Academy. Thanks to these collaborations there are now women professional drivers steering the way across many locations, all the way from Pune to Assam.
‘I HAVE LEARNED SO MANY NEW THINGS FROM OTHER GIRLS, ALL WITH DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE BACKGROUNDS. I AM ENJOYING THE TRAINING IMMENSELY.’SUMAN, KANGRA DISTRICT IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
The course comprises:
- Technical driving training
This part of the course involves preparation for learner’s license exam, driving lessons, practice on the ground for permanent license, on-road practice and self-drive, route identification and map reading, car maintenance and trouble-shooting and GPS use.
The driving training is delivered by the recognized Maruti Driving School and our in-house faculty. Trainees receive a certificate from Maruti upon completion of the driving modules delivered by Maruti.
- Self-empowerment modules
These modules include legal rights training and sessions on women’s rights, reproductive and sexuality and gender.
- Self-development modules
This part of the course comprises classes on financial literacy, first aid, self-defense, spoken English for professional chauffeurs, and communications skills, and counseling.
First Aid course is provided by Fortis Hospital.
‘I have learned more in 5 months at Azad, than in my whole previous life.’ Mary, Ajmer
Why are we doing it?
Azad Foundation has received many requests from various organisations in India and abroad to pilot and test out Women on Wheels beyond our current locations. Based on this interest, we decided to launch Women on Wheels Academy to sprout the concept of “Women on Wheels” over a large geographical area and to reach out to many more resource-poor women in a short period of time.
Through the Academy, we also enlarge the network of ‘professional women drivers’, facilitating support and solidarity amongst themselves. And take another small step towards making more and more cities safer for women.
The Academy also enables Azad to establish the ground for setting up a local franchise of ‘Women on Wheels’ in areas where there is a high number of women interested to become professional drivers and a suitable job market.
‘I HAVE LEARNED MORE IN 5 MONTHS AT AZAD, THAN IN MY WHOLE PREVIOUS LIFE.’ MARY, AJMER
We are looking for organisations with experience in working on gender related issues, whose primary agenda includes women empowerment and/or livelihoods. You need to have a firm belief in the participation of women in non-traditional livelihoods, particularly ‘driving’.
You need to commit to putting together a team to support the women during and post training and be able to enroll at least 3 eligible women for Women on Wheels Academy. You need to commit to secure private chauffeur placements in your city for the trained women you will be sponsoring.
We would particularly welcome applications from organisations working in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kanpur, Chennai, Surat and Nagpur, but will consider relevant applications from any suitable locations.
Who is eligible for Women on Wheels Academy?
Women aged 18-35 from economically poor backgrounds who completed at least class 8 are the target group for Women on Wheels programme. They require a proof of residence, age and education attainment up to grade 8 for the enrollment. They also need to be fluent in Hindi, being able to speak as well as read and write in Hindi.
They must be willing to pay a commitment fee of 2,000 INR. Alternatively, the fee can be paid by partner organization.
How to submit your Expression of interest
Please download Expression of Interest – Women on Wheels Academy partners and send a completed version of this form to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact:
Azad Foundation – Jaipur