Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Auto-Rickshawalla

 The Auto-Rickshawallas are one step above Rickshawallas. They work half as hard, and make three times as much money. But there is nothing wrong with that, since Ann has been telling me that about my job! This fellow's name is Pawan Kumar. He is forty-eight years old. Unlike a lot of other labourers he is not from Bihar. He had a small shop in a government owned building. The building was converted into some other offices and he lost his shop. So for the past two years he has been driving an auto-rickshaw. He rents the vehicle for Rs. 400/- a day and has to pay about Rs. 80-100/- a day for gas. He works twelve hours a day seven days a week and takes home about Rs. 15,000/- a month. He has one daughter and two sons. His foremost desire in his life is to educate his children so they can get some decent job. His daughter has just finished her B.A. and his sons are in high school. His daughter is looking for a job. His biggest complaint with the world is that he has to face so much corruption. He cannot buy an autorickshaw because of the inflated price and corruption in the licence department. He says his daughter can not find a job because he does not have any relative in a high position and he can not afford to pay a bribe needed to get her a government job.

The auto-rickshaws are everywhere. In Thialand they are called Tuk-Tuk, a very appropriate name, considering the sound they make. 

Outside of Delhi these are used as passenger vans. I saw this one and counted tweleve people in there.

A little further up I saw this one buldging with people on both sides. 

So I asked my car driver to pull up close to the auto-ricksaw and counted twenty people in there.

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