A ray of hope for thousands of poor and toiling human!
In the technology-driven world of India’s most populous city, one would have expected rickshaws to disappear with the faster growth of modern, motorized transport. Instead, the numbers of rickshaws have increased amazingly in the last couple of years. In the absence of any substitute mode of transport for short distances, the rickshaws meet the need for urban and sub-urban mobility in middle- and lower-middle income neighbourhoods; and provide a low-cost way to transport household goods and furniture. This has also the significance in the present –day environment where we are talking about global warming and climatic changes; and the cycle rickshaws become only the green mode of transportation by its very nature of avoiding carbon emissions.
It is estimated that there are 8 million rickshaw pullers in India. However, hardly 10% rickshaw pullers own their rickshaws and the rest depend on the private owner on daily rental basis Rs. 25 to Rs. 40 vary from place to place. Neither have they had social security nor dignity at their work. The Rickshaw Bank of CRD has brought a hope to the rickshaw pullers by providing a newly designed rickshaw, with insurance and license at an affordable cost with facilitating their solidarity for rights and livelihood. The first prototype of the newly designed Rickshaw was developed by The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati. The pilot phase of the Rickshaw Bank was launched in Guwahati and later it was expanded to the other areas in Assam and outside Assam too. The project was started with much hype on November 20, 2004; and over the sic years of period, it has emerged itself as the flagship project of CRD. As on date, CRD is the only organisation in the world which has exclusively focussing on different development issues of the rickshaw pullers and working continuously with its Rickshaw Bank project.
Initially the project was started with the financial support of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) and later on different banks and funding agencies extended their philanthropic assistance. During this financial year, CRD pleased to work with financial assistance of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Millepede Foundation- an international charitable trust.