A Permanent Solution To Poverty
Poverty and hunger go hand in hand, a fact that is blatantly obvious in the nation of India. While providing life sustaining food to destitute people is vital and good, it only addresses a symptom of gross poverty, not the problem itself. Therefore PeopleAids programs are focused on setting people free from the circumstances that cause their poverty.
It is an old saying now but still very relevant; “If you give a man a fish, he will eat it today and be hungry tomorrow, but if you teach a man to fish then he will not only eat today, but also tomorrow and so on.” That is why wherever possible we enable poor families to become self-sufficient by setting them up with their own small businesses. In India, a country of over 1.3 billion people, a Rickshaw is an excellent small business to have.
Rickshaws – A Major Method Of Transportation
The Rickshaw is the world’s oldest form of wheeled transportation and in India today Rickshaws are still a major method of taxi style transportation for people taking short journeys. Multitudes ride them to and from work. Business people going to appointments use them. Women travel on them for shopping and children going to and from school ride on Rickshaws. They are also used for moving goods and courier jobs. The government promotes their use as they are non-polluting. According to official records over 7 million Rickshaws are in use in India today.
Enabling The Poor
PeopleAids – Rickshaws For India program promotes self-sufficiency by enabling poor people to own their own Rickshaw businesses. We provide existing Rickshaw drivers and also unemployed people with a high quality Rickshaw as well as training, maintenance help and free insurance.
Harsh Rickshaw Landlords
Despite their hard work, India’s existing Rickshaw drivers cannot break free from the cycle of poverty which themselves and their families are trapped in. They are too poor to own their own Rickshaw, so they are forced to rent their Rickshaws from Rickshaw landlords. The rent they must pay is around 50% of their daily income. In essence, they work as slave labor for the Rickshaw landlords. Many drivers have no choice but to rent trash heaps with wobbly wheels, broken seats, loose frames, etc.
Because the rental fee cuts the driver’s income almost in half, he has no possibility of saving any money to purchase his own Rickshaw. In fact, it is desperately difficult to live on the remaining income. He and his family live from day to day, struggling to feed themselves with the money that is left after paying the daily Rickshaw rental.
Children Forced Into Slave Labor
The hard-earned money that the driver is forced to hand over to the Rickshaw landlord could make a tremendous difference to the Rickshaw driver’s family, especially the children. Because their income is so substandard, they are forced to live in slums where disease runs rife. Children are not able to be educated and basic medicines are beyond their means. In India there is no social security or sickness benefits.
Now however, thousands of existing Rickshaw drivers have been permanently set free from poverty and hopelessness by receiving sponsored Rickshaws. Along with them, thousands more destitute people, who were previously unemployed now have debt free, good income producing, Rickshaw businesses and their lives have also been liberated.
New Rickshaws Significantly Increase Income
Life dramatically improves when the driver owns his own Rickshaw. There are two shifts – day and night. Because he owns the Rickshaw, he can operate it himself during the day shift then hire it out at night and earn a rental on it. Days off for rest and quality family time, previously unimaginable, are now possible because he can still earn income through rental.
Family Life Greatly Enhanced
Family life is greatly enhanced when the driver owns his Rickshaw. It supplies valuable and free transportation for the owner’s own family requirements. The added income frees the children from dangerous and cruel hard labor and allows them the opportunity to go to school. Families rejoice over being able to spend quality time together. The extra income also enables the grand parents in the family to be properly cared for.
Education – It Changes Children’s Destinies
Almost all of India’s Rickshaw drivers are uneducated. The typical scenario is that because the father is a Rickshaw driver, the son will also become one. It is due to a lack of education that these children can not choose a different profession. Therefore the education of Rickshaw drivers children is a primary objective of the Rickshaws For India program, as it changes their destinies. Schools have been set up in some of the Rickshaw drivers villages and other nearby schools are assisted.
Health Care And More
Wherever possible PeopleAids – Rickshaws For India program not only benefits the receiving family but also the whole community. PeopleAid assists with Wells to supply clean fresh water, and also health care, immunization, schooling, housing, clothing, food, sanitation, and others self-sufficiency programs. Rickshaw sponsorship does not just change one persons life. It changes whole families lives and destinies! It also helps the extended family and the community.
Premium Quality Built Rickshaws
All sponsored Rickshaws are professionally purpose-built in our own Manufacturing Plants. They are designed to withstand many years of harsh Indian conditions. Only premium quality steel and other materials are used. They have special heavy-load rated tires, tubes and rims. The chains, bearings and sprockets are long-lasting.
Maintenance, Insurance And Training
When a Rickshaw driver receives a sponsored Rickshaw, he is provided with access to our Rickshaw Manufacturing Plants, where the Rickshaw can be taken for puncture repairs, tire changing, bearing lubrication and general running repairs. In addition, basic day-to-day maintenance is taught to Rickshaw drivers.
In the event of accident or fire damage, we indemnify all sponsored Rickshaws, which are repaired or replaced as necessary.
Rickshaw drivers also have access to training classes where they can receive guidance in business procedures and life skills. This includes banking and saving, something that their previous day to day existence never required. They are also taught the principles of giving and helping those less fortunate than they are.
Proper Screening And Selection Of Rickshaw Recipients
As the need for Rickshaws is so great, we have a unique but simple application and approval process. Hundreds of local leaders from various regions and many different denominations screen and qualify families who require Rickshaws. They then submit completed application forms to one of our regional Indian offices for final checking. This ensures that only the neediest families receive sponsored Rickshaws. As sponsors become available, a letter and documentation is sent to the relevant leader, who advises the Rickshaw recipient family when and where they will be given their new Rickshaw. Where necessary we assist these families with travel as many have to journey some distance to collect their Rickshaw, from a Manufacturing Plant.
Thousands of needy families are currently on waiting lists and are fervently hoping for sponsors. These are families who have no means of escaping the cruel realities of poverty. Hunger and hopelessness are their constant companions. They need more than handouts. They need to be set free from poverty – forever!
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
The Rickshaws For India program is not a stop-gap, short-term, fix-it-up solution based on handouts. Your sponsorship provides the means for a poor Indian family to escape from the bondage of poverty and servitude and to experience genuine hope for the first time in their lives. The Rickshaw driver and his family experience first-hand the Love of God through your generosity.
Sponsoring a Rickshaw provides a family with a way to permanently support themselves. It is truly a perpetual gift that keeps on giving day after day, year after year.
Set A Family Free From Poverty Forever! – By Sponsoring A Rickshaw Today
Rickshaw Beneficiary Testimonies … Gurla Family / Karri Family / Badanapuri Family
Human Pulled Rickshaws in Kolkata … read more