There is an estimated two million cycle rickshaws in India. With rickshaws widely considered one of the fastest and cheapest means of transport in the country, it’s likely that this number will continue to increase.
In Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, the cycle rickshaw industry provides employment for around 15,000 unskilled locals and migrants. However rickshaw pullers face a variety of challenges, including poverty, a lack of identity papers, poor working conditions and minimal access to quality healthcare.
Maitri India has been an Oak grantee since 2012. It works to help rickshaw pullers in Ranchi assert their identity, access citizenship rights, improve their living and working conditions and expand their access to health, financial and legal services. Since Project Adhikar began, some 545 rickshaw pullers have received health insurance cards. Zero balance bank accounts have been opened for 14 rickshaw pullers.
To find out more about the incredible work that Maitri India is doing, check out its website (http://www.maitriindia.org/).