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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Mar 2014 back issue
Hand Pulled Rickshaws Kolkata
by Soumya Shankar Ghosal
Hand Pulled Rickshaw is a mode of human-powered transport by which a runner draws a two-wheeled cart which seats one or two persons. Although archaic, this is one of the swiftest modes of transport used in the bylanes of Kolkata. The authorities have been keen to take the hand pulled rickshaws off the road on humanitarian grounds. According to official records there are 8780 licensed hand-pulled rickshaws in the metropolis (as of December, 2012). However, according to estimates by the All Bengal Rickshaw-Pullers' Association, approximately 35,000 people (including 14,000 unlicensed pullers) are engaged in the business of hand-pulled rickshaws.  These many thousands of owners, contractors and pullers are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
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