Students in Kolkata pulled rickshaws on Valentine’s Day
In an interesting turn of events, 42 students including girls from various colleges in Kolkata decided to pull rickshaw on its through fares with those who ply them as passengers. The students pulled the hand pulled rickshaws along a three kilometer stretch between Bank of India Crossing on Amherst Street to M G Road via B B Ganguly Street and College Street in central Kolkata.
Accompanying the 42 students were 65 other students from over 20 colleges in the city who walked alongside them through the entire route.
Puja Gupta, a girl who participated in the event and pulled a rickshaw, said that it was their way to show love and appreciation to the rickshaw pullers who work tirelessly for 365 days a year and seldom get any recognition.
“My hands were aching. I realised the pain, stress and hardship the rickshaw pullers experience daily for a few rupees,” she added.
Saptak Biswas, who was one of the organizers of the event, networked with friends from different institutes to spread awareness about the event. He said that the said the rickshaw pullers live in the nearby Sealdah-Jorasanko-Rabindra Sarani pockets of the city and hail from different districts of Bihar.
The students had approached the rickshaw pullers in person since not many of them possess a mobile phone and do not understand Bengali. Once the students explained their intentions, the rickshaw pullers happily turned up with their vehicles.
Satyen, an elderly rickshaw puller hailing from Gaya district in Bihar, told PTI, “It was an altogether different experience. For a change I was sitting in my own rickshaw. I felt embarrassed as it was being pulled by a girl who is as old as my daughter but she asked me to sit back and relax.”
The students also treated the rickshaw pullers to lunch and presented them with a memento after the end of the trip.