Keeping in mind the predicament of people with disabilities, the Network of Organisation Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP) launched a rickshaw project in first week of June. According to Amin Amir Andani, NOWPDP’s external engagement manager, “the primary objective of this project is to empower the differently abled individuals economically.
With this project, disabled people will be able to earn their own income and not be a burden on their families. Initially, the rickshaw project has started in Karachi and so far, five drivers are inducted by the organisation. Andani added that the organisation plans to hand over 100 more rickshaws to the disabled individuals by the end of this year.
The white retrofitted rickshaws have bird wings painted on the front. The four-seated rickshaws are fitted with a steering handle and they are hand-controlled as the control of the gear, clutch and accelerator are all fixed to the steering handle while brake is an elevated lever. Other than that, all of the rickshaws are fitted with microphones, as the network will soon set up a call centre to coordinate between drivers and customers. Trakkar systems have been installed to help inform people at the office about their exact location. Each rickshaw also has a meter and they plan to fix the rates between Rs10 and 12 per kilometre. Andani further said that these retrofitted rickshaws are manufactured by Sazgar, the local rickshaw manufacturing company in Pakistan.
Imran Ghanchi is the chief driver at NOWPDP who first started driving retrofitted rickshaw in 2012 when the organisation began their pilot project in 2012. It was with the help of polio stricken Ghanchi that the rickshaws were modified in accordance to the needs for the differently abled individuals.
Before handing over the hand-controlled rickshaws, the organisation has trained individuals for three months. This includes learning about traffic rules and road signs as well as basic automotive repair. Andani is hopeful that these rickshaws will provide a sustainable mobility solution for differently abled individuals in the long run
A group of engineering students from NED University of Science And Technology was awarded the Breakthrough Award at Formula Student Annual Competition 2017. The award was for their formula racing car, which is believed to be Asia’s first lightweight formula racing car.
When you think of the means of transportation in the city that is always on run, you will come across different varieties of the vehicles that move on the streets of Karachi. Trucks, beautiful cars either they are big like Toyota corolla to small ones that is Mehran, public buses, rickshaws, donkey-carts, motorcycles and then there is three-wheeledscooter which is mostly famous as chinchi (variation of its original Chinese name Qinqi). I got an opportunity to travel through chinchi first time it is actually a cart which is fixed on the motorcycle. Unlike public buses they charge less but their route is very much limited. There is a space of six people to fit in this transport but at times seven to eight also manage to adjust in this small space.
It is not a safe ride why? Because first there is a chance of unbalance due to the bad conditions of the road and then the cart having seats for passengers is fixed very poorly. Once the pressure increases at the back seat so the bike may lift up. Secondly the poor fitting may anytime break and cart as well as the bike may split from each other.
This kind of transport is already banned in Faisalabad because many accidents occurred due to chinchi. Whereas, it is commonly observed in the roads of the metropolis, also there is no fear of the traffic laws. The users and the public must be careful while taking advantage of this vehicle.