Often during modernisation (or as the Maharashtra government calls “Shanghaisation”) of cities, age old practises and traditions come in the way. Examples are the pavement bookshops of Bombay and, as I just discovered, the hand rickshaw pullers of Calcutta.
If the pavement bookshops in Bombay were making pedestrian paths too clumsy, the Calcutta rickshaw pullers are health hazards for themselves. All agreed but weren’t these legalized until yesterday?
Both, the pavement bookshops of Bombay and the rickshaw pullers of Calcutta have been existing from the pre-independence era. The demerits and the hazards posed by them have been identified after 58 years of India’s own Government. And now if the Government has taken a decision, isn’t it that they should also provide these people with other means of livelihood? Will the 1800 rickshaw pullers be simply added to the ever growing unemployed crowd of Bengal?
More about it, here, on the BBC.