TAMIL NADU

Rickshaw-pullers

In Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell describes rickshaw-pullers as "black wretches weighing eight stone, clad in loin-cloths. Some of them are diseased; some of them are fifty years old. For miles on end they trot in the sun or rain ... dragging at the shafts, with the sweat dripping from their moustaches ... They earn thirty or forty rupees a month, and cough their lungs out after a few years." Orwell's description is worth noting in the light of the West Bengal Government's decision to withdraw hand-pulled rickshaws.

S. Imtiaz Ali, Chennai

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Be it hand-pulled rickshaws, child labour or dance bars, rehabilitation should be first thought out and kept ready; otherwise banning it is like putting the cart before the horse or handing down the sentence first and giving the verdict afterwards!

N. Dharmeshwaran, Bangalore

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