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India to get Wings Rainbow, a radio taxi for LGBT people in 2017

Wings Travels and Humsafar Trust have launched Wings Rainbow, a radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community in Mumbai, reports The Hindu. Wings Rainbow will employ members of the LGBT community to drive the taxis, but will only start functioning next year, according to the report. Wings Travels claims to have 5,500 radio taxis in 9 cities like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, and Chandigarh. It plans to have 1,500 people employed under Wings Rainbow across all 9 cities. In the pilot program, 5 members will apply for a learner’s license and complete training to get the All India Driver’s Licence. Drivers will get a permanent driving license in 9-12 months, during which time they will also be trained on customer etiquettes. The report quoted Pallav Patankar, program director at Humsafar Trust as saying that several businesses had approached the trust to offer employment to the transgender and sexual minority community after the Supreme Court ruled (in 2014) that transgender should be recognised as the third gender. The SC judgment added that the verdict was pertinent only to eunuchs and not members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community, who are sometimes considered transgender. MediaNama’s take: This move is progressive, despite the fact that the country has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT rights. Alternatively, I also think that the more exclusive services we offer, the more divisive our stand on issues gets. Wings Rainbow proves that there’s absolutely no harm…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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