A “motorcycling training course” has been cancelled after it was criticised as “unethical” and a “disgrace” by the Maharashtra Government.
The Maharashtra Government on Friday cancelled the “moto training course”, scheduled to start from July 1, after an outcry from the women’s motorcycle riders who said it would be dangerous for them and other women.
The National Federation of Women of India (NFWI) said it was “deeply hurt” by what it called “disgusting” and “unacceptable” decision to close the “banned course” in Pune.
“It is not only a waste of our resources and time, it is a disgrace and a disgrace that women cannot participate in a sport where they have to pay for the training,” NFWI Maharashtra President Aneesh Kumar said.
The course, called “Moto Master” and hosted by the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, was set to have sessions for two to four days.
“The Maharashtra government has been aware of the protest against the course,” said Harley-Davidsons head of external affairs, John Nungesser, in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the fact that women are unable to participate in the ‘MOTO Master’ course.
It is important that we support our valued women and their advocacy efforts in our State.
We are committed to ensuring that women in Maharashtra have access to quality training and that women and girls have the confidence to take up a career in the motorcycle industry.”
According to the National Women’s College, about 20,000 women are enrolled in motorcycle training courses across the country.
The NFWI said it had raised objections to the decision and was “dismayed” at the “unfair” decision.
“If it is true that the government is taking a decision that is not in the best interests of women, we must ask why,” said Nungeser.
“Maharashtra is not a land of freedom and freedom of speech, yet the state government is allowing the banning of a course on the basis of fear,” he added.
The cancellation was made without a hearing, with a decision being taken “in the light of all the evidence”, according to the statement.
The men’s motorcycle course was to have been scheduled for July.