Maruti Driving School
Women and Driving
Maruti & Road Safety
Women and Driving
In the early 1990s, it was quite a discovery to see women drive a car in India. It was completely a man's domain, and women mostly used public transport or were led by chauffeur - driven cars.
One of the limiting factors were the kind of cars that were available in the Indian market at that time; cars were often bulky and difficult to drive.
Today, the Indian woman has moved beyond her traditional roles. The transition from a humble homemaker to a tech savvy, independent, decision maker has happened and women in India today occupy an important place in the society.
One of the factors that have contributed significantly to the success of women in India is "Mobility", and this mobility has come in the form of personal transport.
Maruti Suzuki brought in the first car that was easy to drive and park in the Indian sub-continent. Today the latest cars and the technology adaptations like power steering make driving very easy and enjoyable. However, one important aspect was to 'learn to drive'.
Only in this decade, organized players like Maruti Suzuki have ventured into imparting driving skills through organized schools with world class training modules.
Maruti Suzuki has taken up to train them 'how to drive safely' through its network of over 200 Maruti Driving Schools.
Maruti Driving School at trained around four lakh people out of which they have trained more than one lakh women.
While the individual woman gains from learning driving, in many cases this skill leads to flexibility for the whole family.
The Driving School Experience
Majority of these women are homemakers with little or limited access to affluence. Some of them are college students, some are grandmothers, yet what is common is their sheer passion to learn driving.
Lady instructors have been appointed to train women at these schools. These schools are equipped with the world class, state of the art driving simulators and cars in good condition.
At MDS, the training modules are as per international standards and include both theory and practical. Difficult driving situations such as fog, uphill terrain, rain and night driving is simulated on state-of-the-art simulators to give learners a firsthand experience of the weather conditions. Only after class room and simulator training the learners are taken for actual driving on road.
This mix of theory and practical gives learners a critical insight into the driving skills. In addition, the learners also pick up car handling training like changing flat tyre and handling minor snags and repairs in the vehicle.
Comments by some of the women learners
Anjana Khare, a homemaker, age 50, Bhopal: "Yeh bahut Zaroori Hai, kya maloom kab kya zaroorat pad jaye".
"I don't have a car, I drive my husband's company car, occasionally. "It gives me a high when I drive to drop my daughter for coaching classes. I am happy to be independent."
Hira Vernaker, age 35, Mysore : "Even if I drive only twice or thrice a week, I feel independent and do not have to wait for any one's help to manage my daily chores." "When my kids grow up they would also go to 'Maruti classes' before sitting behind the wheels". "The trainers are extremely helpful and they teach relevance of traffic signs and signages".
Mrs. Kalpana Rajpoot, veterinary doctor, Madhya Pradesh : "I kept postponing my decision to learn how to drive for almost 8 years till I got tired of my driver's 'nakhras' and walked upto , Maruti Driving School at Gwalior."
"Now when my friends visit me, even they compliment me for my efforts in learning driving. I encourage them also to learn driving.
Rachna Garg, age 20, Jammu and Yashmi: "With the basic Learner's course I drive confidently on highways and city streets without being hassled".
Neeraj Wason , Allahabad : "When ever I would see a lady driving a car I would wonder when I would be independent. I am glad that now I am a source of inspiration for many other ladies in the town."