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PADDLE RIKSHA (CLOSED)
Looking out onto any street in Ahmedabad, one is likely to see a frail man struggling to pull a heavy load on a pedal rickshaw, often over a flyover. 60-70% of them rent the rickshaw at 20-40 rupees per day, meaning that they pay over 7000-8000 rupees per year. Some rent these rickshaws over a span of 8-12 years, paying 60,000-120,000 rupees in rent. Many of these drivers deal with alcohol and tobacco addictions, suffer from TB and other health issues, and live in surrounding slum areas. Their average income is 60-150 rupees per day. The pedal rickshaw project was started by comparing the total amount that pedal rickshaw drivers pay in rent with the average cost of actually buying a pedal rickshaw: 6000-6500 rupees.

The project has two prongs. The first is that the quality and design of the rickshaw is improved so that energy and maintenance required is decreased by almost 30%. The bearings have been improved, chain length shortened, and a simple spring has been provided for shock absorbance. The total cost of the rickshaw is Rs.6200.

This improved rickshaw is then given to a driver on loan, letting the driver pay the same amount as he would pay to rent the rickshaw, but he would be able to own the rickshaw in approximately one year. Close to 1000 men living in the Ramapir no Tekro slum earn their living by pulling a pedal rickshaw.
 
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