History has it that Chinese traders in Kolkata introduced these rickshaws in the late 19th century, primarily to carry goods.
But with time, British rulers made them a cheap mode of transport, eventually turning them into a symbol of the city.
India’s communist West Bengal state says its plan to ban hand-pulled rickshaws in Kolkata is a long overdue step to end a backbreaking, “inhuman” form of work.
But from the point of view of the rickshaw pullers they don’t think it’s inhuman and degrading.
“My grand-father and father were rickshaw pullers, I don’t know any other trade but pulling rickshaws. My family will starve if the ban is imposed,” said Sheikh, a short muscled man who did not know his age.
If the Government really care for them instead of just banning the rickshaws they should find a better alternatives for them first. Just like the case with our leather tannery in tangra.