Monday, April 30, 2007

Rickshawala

I usually travel by bus while returning from office. There are two ways to return from my office to home. There is a direct bus service from Gulshan-2 to Mohammadpur. And another way is to take 27 no bus from Kakoli upto Asad gate then the rest to Mohammadpur by Rickshaw. My office is at Banani 27 no road, middle of Gulshan 2 and Kakoli.

Yesterday I took the second way. From Asad gate I took a Rickshaw. I rode on the rickshaw and asked the rickshawala, ‘What is the fare upto Mohammadpur Shiya Mosque?’

’15 taka’, he replied.

‘It should be 12 taka, why you are charging more?’

‘If you compare the fair with the previous days then it is not fair. In previous we had to pay 25 taka per day to the owner and now we are paying 80 taka per day’

‘I see. The government set fixed charge for the taxi owners and did not set any constraint for the rickshaw owners’

‘The owners are not responsible for this. They have to buy a tire for 250 taka while they bought it for 150 taka in the past.’ – Rickshawala’s quick reply

I was astonished hearing the rickshawala saying on behalf of the rickshaw owners. I guessed that he himself is the owner and asked the rickshawala to be sure.

‘Hey, stop. Are you the rickshaw owner?’

He smiled, looked at me and said ‘yes sir, I have only one rickshaw’

Who does not like to speak for himself?

7 comments:

Ashik said...

ha ha ha
Excellent Post!

Liton said...

interesting...
i faced the same trouble too...

Nuruddin said...

it is so interesting

But their has a life style......

Masrur said...

Good!!!!!! ur writtings r easy nd simple..... nd u got a little bit of shadow of modern days bangla literature..... carry on brother, hope ONEDAY we can get ur Autograph....

Ershad Ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ershad Ahmed said...

Ershad Ahmed said...
Good one, Keep it up.

Rickshaw puller's life:- in the street under blazing sun or rain is tough. Hickling, brawl and bashing of traffic police are the reward the get in return.

Very few pullers own rickshaw. They hire from 'Malik' paying Tk.50/- for halfday and Tk.80/- for fullday. Morning shift is 05:00AM to 02:00PM,and second shift 02:00PM to 11:00 PM.

Pullers sleep in Malik's garrage at a nominal rent of Tk.20/- a month and get 2 meals a day at Tk.50/to 60/- only. The menu covers evening meal of sabjicurry/daal and bhorta, and noon meal of fish/meat/egg curry and sabji bhaji or vice versa.

Rickshaw puller's working month lasts only for 15-22 days, full dayers don't ply more than 15 days on health ground. Malik keeps additional pullers in hand to ensure optimum utilization of his rickshaws by rotation.

After paying hire charge, food and sundry, a puller's neat saving comes to Tk. 100/- to 150/- a day (for half day shift). Thus with net av monthly saving between Tk.2000/- and Tk.3000/- he goes back to his native village every month to manage his family and household expenses there.

In Eskaton, Malibagh, khilgaon areas of Dhaka most rickshaw pullers I came across hail from greater Bogra, Rangpur, Tangail, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj and Barisal. They say they don't have employment in village more than 6 months and therefore forced to move out to big cities to cover up the shortfall of the year.

We should be compassionate with rickshaw pullers for their 100% hard earned 'halal' income.

Ershad Ahmed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.