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Soleckshaw: The answer to India’s rickshaw

19 October 2008 No Comment

Literally, with people on his back and cycling away as taxi to earn his daily living, the rickshaw is now being evolved into a machine that harnesses energy from the sun, which not only creates clean energy but also makes it easier for rickshaw, or rather the Soleckshaw driver.

This vehicle is great for a place like India, and trust me, our European brothers like Spain are already making full use of the idea of the rickshaw. In Barcelona, I took a ride within the city on this rickshaw and it was great for the place as it had such narrow streets and didn’t emit anything toxic. But it is glamourised as you have hot and fit men pedaling these. In India, this is not the case.

It is the poorest of the poor who make their living out of the rickshaw. It is physically strenuous as well as mentally. The mental part is the haggling over prices and trying to figure out how they repay their debts. Usually in India, couple of rickshaws are lent out to drivers from the owner, to whom the drivers have to repay with a cut from their earnings. What do they earn? After a tired day out, between their losses, not much.

The soleckshaw is a welcome gift from the Gods. They dont have to worry about fuel, they charge this little vehicle and are on their way. It is battery powered and is god-sent on uphills. It has the option of being pedalled or running on battery which is sufficient for six to seven hours, before being charges at a solar station. At present, the costs of this lies at 22,000RS, which will eventually drop upon being mass-produced.

Though are there still many questions on how this will work exactly, one can see this as a sustainable way of earning, transportation and not to say the least, a relief to the rickshaw drivers.

Photo credit: Times Online


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