The best inspirational movies leave an indelible impression on its audience. Such is the case with Jitendra Ghadigaokar, general secretary of the North East wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, after watching Sairat, a Marathi blockbuster. The image of the female lead character, Archi, riding a Bullet through the fields of a small village in Maharashtra, inspired him to launch a motorcycle riding school for women.
The training school in Bhandup offers a 45-days course where women are taught to ride a motorcycle, write the exam, and attain a driver's licence. The free initiative aims to get women on bikes in a bid to overcome barriers that limit their mobility and bridge economic disparity as well as gender inequalities. Ghadigaokar says that in comparison to women in other suburbs, women in Bhandup rarely head out alone. They can’t afford training from a regular motorcycle riding school, whose fees range from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000.
In one and half months since its inception, 400 women have been trained, and currently, 250 women are being trained with the help of volunteers. In fact, within seven days of the launch of the school, he received 1,800 applications. He had to slow down the initiative due to an insufficient number of bikes. The students now train on 10 bikes.
Every day at 4.30 pm, women from nearby slums gather at Sanskruti Hall in Kokan Nagar, Bhandup to learn to ride motorcycles.