Access cycle rickshaws by a phone call!

July 17th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by ANI  

By Avtar Singh Gill
Fazilka (Punjab), July 17 (ANI): A group of engineering graduates here has set up a concept called Ecocab call centre to overcome the routine transportation problem.
It has made the popular mode of local transportationcycle rickshawjust a phone call away. Initiated by the Graduates Welfare Association of former IITians, Ecocab Call Centres have been set up all over the town to help residents of Fazilka to enable accessing cycle rickshaws without difficulty.
Fazilka is the first town in the country where rickshaws can be summoned by a phone call.
According to Navdeep Asija, Secretary of the Graduates Welfare Association, the lack of proper public conveyance in the town prompted him and his team to launch this eco-cab call centre.
He points out that while big cities have buses, smaller towns like Fazilka had nothing available as public transport. So we tried to make the existing system better accessible.
Every 1,500 houses in the town have a call center. As soon as the Rickshaw call center at the nearest zone gets a call, the rickshaw-puller reaches the desired point within two to three minutes.
Residents of Fazilka are happy over the innovation.
“Dial-a-rickshaw is very helpful. You just need to make a phone call and we get a rickshaw at our doorsteps. The service is very convenient for women, who earlier used to wait for long and walk long distances to take a rickshaw. Many households have privately owned cars, but only 10 per cent of women know driving. Hence, I like this service,” said Renu Madan, a resident of Fazilka.
A tea stall vender, now runs a call centre to manage over 50 rickshaws. He also earns additional income. The rickshaw pullers have been given digital identity cards.
The rickshaws also display commercial advertisements that help them to earn more. Some of them have used the additional income to subscribe for health insurance.
There are about 500 rickshaw-pullers in Fazilka.
Harbans Lal of the Fazilka rickshaw pullers union claims that people in the town can get a rickshaw in two to five minutes by making a phone call
Cycle-rickshaws are a popular mode of transportation across the country for covering short distances. (ANI)

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