Rickshaw rally in India
Those who are not from India seem to have a fascination for India’s rickshaws. Why else would Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have risked being mobbed when they took a ride in a rick during their visit to India last year? And why else would 72 participants (some reports say 32) from across the world (none from India) come here to participate in a rickshaw rally?
The route was almost 2000 kms long and meant to test the “drivers’ endurance, stamina and patience…as they went through flooded roads, muddy pathways and mountainous terrains…”
We may not enjoy muddy rides as it is a part and parcel of our lives…but the foreigners seemed to have enjoyed every minute of it, going by the looks on their faces as they reached Mumbai (saw it on TV). Inspite of a mishap. Two British women were injured in an accident, but they were not critically injured. The rally ends today.
The rick as the locals refer to it in Mumbai (Delhites call it Auto and its full form is the auto rickshaw) has a kerb weight of 272 kg and its maximum net power is 7.00 HP @ 5000 rpm. It has a single cylinder engine and the unique thing is that the rick is kick-started!
It seats about 3 passengers and acts like a mini-cab and a school bus as well as a transport vehicle for goods. Being cheaper than a cab it becomes the common man’s transport when buses play truant. It is a boon for students and well…generally for everyone. Here are a couple of pictures I took:
A rickshaw stand outside R Mall, in Mumbai:
A six-seater (more I think!) rickshaw ferrying passengers on the outskirts of Pune:
Rickshaw drivers are notorious for their bad driving and the bane of motorists! In this instance we were gheraoed! (which means surrounded)
(The first pic of Pitt & Jolie and the second pic of the rally drivers are from cbsnews and classicrallies respectively. The other three pics are by me)