Udaysinh Jadhav, known as ‘Ahmedabad no rickshawalo’, an auto driver from Ahmedabad, has been running his auto on a ‘gift economy’ for over 12 years now.

“Each passenger is given a box after their ride, where they can pay what they please. The inside of the box reads, ‘Pay from your heart’,” says Udaysinh, adding that what they pay is essentially a gift for the next passenger.

Dressed in a Gandhi topi and khadi kurta, Uday Bhai, as he is called, follows the footsteps of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Born in a large family, Udaysinh dropped out of school after Class 10 and started working to support his family.

Inspired by Ishwar Patel’s Seva Cafe, which runs on a similar gift model, the 50-year-old started running his auto in Ahmedabad in 2010.

“I come from Gandhiji’s karma bhoomi (land of action) — Sabarmati, and I want to live by his ideals as much as possible. Money is not important,” says Udaysinh.

The auto is equipped with water, a dustbin, a library, snacks prepared by his wife, toys, and an akshaya patra (inexhaustible vessel).

While a gift economy sounds ideal, the reality has been difficult for the father of three. Some days he earns Rs 100, while some other days he gets Rs 500.

A popular face in the city, he has met celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Paresh Rawal. He also offers Ahmedabad heritage tours and acts as a guide.

“There will be ups and downs, but we need to focus on the ups. God will take care of everything. If people don’t help each other, who will?” he says.

Udaysinh hopes to buy a new auto as his current one is now in bad condition.

To help him, you can donate here: Name: Udaysinh Ramanlal Jadav Account number: 201010110006885 IFSC code: BKID0002010 Branch name: New cloth market, Ahmedabad Bank of India