Posts Tagged 'rickshaw puller'

The Rickshaws of Kolkata

Kolkata Rickshaw

It is a classic image of Kolkata: scrawny, spindly-legged men, often in advanced middle-age and barefoot, pulling passengers through the streets in rickshaws. According to a vote taken last month by the city legislative council, however, the hand-pulled rickshaw may soon be a relic of the past. The city has banned the practice as “inhumane.”

Kolkata is the last major city in the world where hand-pulled rickshaws carry passengers. China, where the rickshaw was invented, outlawed the “bourgouis and exploitative” practice in 1949, during the early days of the Cultural Revolution. Now, politicians in West Bengal are hoping to follow suit. Says the Chief Minister, Buddhadev Bhattacharya, “We have taken a policy decision to take the hand-drawn rickshaw off the roads of Calcutta on humanitarian grounds. Nowhere else in the world does this practice exist and we think it should also cease to exist in Calcutta. It is inhumane.”

Are hand-pulled rickshaws inhumane?
Continue reading ‘The Rickshaws of Kolkata’

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