Gone are the days when the poor rickshaw driver had to pull with all his might to tug his passengers up a slope. After the introduction of CNG buses and autorickshaws, Delhi now has another feather in its cap. On Gandhi Jayanti, it introduced a new initiative to convert all hand-drawn rickshaws to solar-powered.
Called the Soleckshaw, it is in test run in Delhi and will be mass produced in a month if all goes well. Besides easing the load of the rickshaw puller and improving his health, it will also enable him to earn more. Shashank Kaushal reports in NDTV:
Solecshaw will run as a test project between the Old Delhi railway station and the Red Fort. Both places will have rickshaw counters selling Rs 15 fare tickets for two people. The batteries run for 12 hours. Spare ones can be charged at the Chandni Chowk metro station.
“I think it is advantageous for the poor rickshaw pullers. They can earn much more. They will save more for their family and they would last more than three years,” said Kapil Sibal, Union Minister, Science and Technology.
With maximum speeds of 15 kilometers per hour, the Solecshaw is expected help a rickshaw puller earn more than his present average daily earnings of 150 rupees.
Yes, it is just a drop in the ocean. But we need all of these drops to make a big difference, and we welcome this small initiative by the Delhi government to bring broad smiles to this largely ignored section of workers.
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Image Courtesy: NDTV.com
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