Photographer's Note

Hand Pulled Rickshaw is one of the oldest vehicles of Kolkata. It may be a matter of surprise that the city manages to retain the hackneyed rickshaw along with the present day transport systems like the metro railway. The long parallel bars and colourful seats with the ‘tung tang’ rhythm of the bells, make Rickshaw an emblem of Kolkata tradition.

In India, hand-pulled rickshaws are only seen in this city. It doesn’t mean that latest technologies are not welcome in this city. Most of the places in Kolkata have cycle rickshaw and auto rickshaw facility. There are an estimated 24,000 rickshaw pullers in Kolkata. But hand-pulled rickshaws are mostly confined to the traditional localities of this city. Bowbazar, College Street, Hogg Market, Bhowanipur, Kalighat, Shyambazar, Amherst Street, Ballygunge are the localities of ‘Rickshaw Communities’.

But should we feel proud about rickshaw – the inhuman vehicle? It shocks when a plump of flesh boards on a rickshaw with heaps of luggage and orders the aged rickshaw puller to run fast. Added to all these is the barbaric attitude of the passengers ugly bargains on the rate. Can any civilized city even dare to dream that a man bent with age and lashes of poverty is pulling on double or triple weight passengers and luggage?
Kolkata is the city of life, love and humanity – hand driven rickshaws are really tragedies.
After having some rounds the man counts the grands.
Thank You.And have a nice weekend.

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Additional Photos by Mrityunjoy Chatterjee (mrichat) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 145 W: 19 N: 243] (1755)
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