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Karnataka Launches Shakti Scheme, Offers Free Bus Travel for Women

free bus for women

The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, inaugurated the ‘Shakti Yojane’ scheme at Bengaluru’s Vidhana Soudha, marking a significant step towards women empowerment in the southern state.

On Sunday, the Karnataka government introduced the ‘Shakti Yojane,’ a scheme that enables free bus travel for women throughout the state. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar officially launched the scheme at Bengaluru’s Vidhana Soudha, emphasizing its importance for empowering women in Karnataka. The initiative was one of the five promises made by the Congress party during the assembly elections.

Travel in ordinary buses will now be free for all women in Karnataka, starting from 1 pm on Sunday. Speaking to reporters, Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy stated, “Our priority is to make travel convenient for women across Karnataka. We will also increase bus services on routes where shortages are observed. All women in Karnataka can travel for free starting from 1 pm today.”

The minister encouraged women to apply for Shakti smart cards within the next three months. Addressing concerns about data privacy, he assured, “We have designed these smart cards in a way that ensures data privacy will not be compromised. The portal will be open for the next three months, and I urge women to apply for Shakti smart cards.” In the meantime, until the cards are issued, women who wish to avail themselves of the free travel benefit must carry a government photo ID card with their residential address. After three months from June 11, it will be mandatory for women to possess the Shakti smart card. The scheme applies to all women in Karnataka, including the transgender community.

Please note that the Shakti scheme covers only ordinary state-run bus services in Karnataka. Buses such as Airavat, Airavat Club Class, Airavat Gold Class, Ambari, Ambari Dream Class, Ambari Utsav, Fly Bus, Vayu Vajra, Vajra, Non-AC Sleeper, Rajahamsa, and EV Power Plus AC buses are excluded from this scheme. The scheme also does not apply to buses traveling outside the state. Fifty percent of seats on KSRTC, NWKRTC, and KKRTC’s ordinary and express buses will be reserved for men.

In a symbolic gesture of support, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar boarded a BMTC bus and distributed free tickets, known as “pink tickets,” to women passengers. Siddaramaiah expressed his hope that more women would take advantage of the scheme and venture out of their homes.

The Shakti Yojane is a tribute to the hardworking mothers who shoulder family responsibilities and the female students who travel to schools and colleges with aspirations for a brighter future, as stated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. He tweeted, “The Shakti Yojane is dedicated to my sisters who are working hard with the responsibility of the family on their shoulders and for the female students who travel to schools and colleges dreaming of a bright future. The driving force behind this project is every woman of Kannada land who has not lost her passion for life despite financial difficulties and has overcome challenges. I sincerely hope that all the women of the state will take advantage of this scheme and become more empowered and self-reliant.”

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy urged all women to obtain Shakti smart cards within the next three months. He reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring convenient travel for women across Karnataka, with plans to increase bus services on routes

IBC Global Times
Author: IBC Global Times

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