We see many rickshaw-pullers in cities and towns, in stations, in stands in village centers. They have become a very common feature now-a-days. Most of us ride the rickshaws, many times in life. But none of us knows fully the life or the daily life of rickshaw-puller.
We call him rickshaw-puller because he pulls a rickshaw and it is his profession. Beforehand there were only hand-drawn rickshaws. Now we find cycle-rickshaws. Carrying a cycle-rickshaw is more humane than pulling a hand rickshaw.
His relation with the rickshaw-owner:
The rickshaw-puller is generally, a very poor man. He is unable to buy a rickshaw. So, he hires it from a rickshaw-owner. He cannot work all the twenty-four hours. So, he hires it for the day or the night. For this he pays Rs. 15.00 as rent. The owner is content with it and does not bother about how much the rickshaw-puller earns. The rickshaw-puller gets a license from the local body to pull a rickshaw. The rickshaw itself is also licensed. The owner of the rickshaw bears all these costs. He bears the cost of the wear and tear, the damage and the loss due to accident that occurs to his rickshaw. The rickshaw puller pays his due everyday to the rickshaw-owner.
His relation with his passengers:
The rickshaw-puller carries the passenger to their destinations. He takes to wage as per to local body rules. He carries one or two passenger at a time. He takes the wage only after reaching. Some passengers are very rough to him. They pay him less than the contract. Some good passengers pay him more than the usual rate. The rickshaw puller charges more during the rough weather and big festivals.
His virtues and vices:
The rickshaw-puller is very meek and mild. Hi is very humble in his manners. He is never idle. He knows how to pull a rickshaw well. He pulls it with a rare kind of skill. He understands the police-signals.
Besides his virtues, he has some vices too. He takes wine. He is addicted to liquor and opium. He is also addicted to bad cinema-films. Many times he sings obscene cinema-songs.
his financial condition:
The rickshaw-puller earns a very good income. He earns about nine hundred rupees a month. But he spends away his money on wine and women, on cinema and cigarettes. So, he keeps poor in spite of his good income.
The rickshaw-pullers form an important class of our society. We should understand the hard toil of the rickshaw-puller. We should not be rough and cruel to him. We should deal with a considerate mind and sympathetic heart.