Rickshaw pullers till recently in Delhi were at the mercy of the MCD officials, who had the power to impound un-licensed rickshaws and sell them as scrap. Supreme Court in April gave a judgement in favour of the rickshaw pullers, allowing them to avail a licence on demand.
Though the rickshaw pullers are freed from the clutches of the officials, they are at the mercy of the fellow drivers of motored vehicles. Road rage is a common sight on the roads of Delhi. Most of the time it’s the weaker ones who are at the receiving end of such violence. The rickshaw pullers continue to suffer in silence because they do not have a collective body to discuss their problems.
“Rickshaw pullers are very vulnerable, and there is no unionisation among them. There is some sort of unionisation among the rickshaw owners though,” said Madhu P. Kishwar, Senior Fellow at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and founder of Manushi Sangathan.
The camera captures a rickshaw puller being mercilessly beaten up by a car owner at Faculty of Arts, Delhi University. The photographer, Rajeev Bhatt intervened to stop the violence.