Madhya Pradesh announces welfare measures for rickshaw pullers

January 31st, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Jan 31 (IANS) Cycle rickshaw and handcart pullers in the state will now become the owners of their vehicles under a new scheme, Madhya Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Saturday. Addressing the first ever meet of the cycle rickshaw and handcart pullers at his official residence, Chouhan also declared that Jan 31 would henceforth be celebrated as Cycle Rickshaw and Handcart Pullers Day and the work done for their welfare would also be reviewed on this day every year.

More than 25,000 rickshaw and handcart pullers took part in the meet.

“Loans and grants will be provided to cycle rickshaw and handcart pullers to make them the owners of the rickshaws and handcarts and all of them would also be registered with the civic bodies within three months. Later, they would be provided with identity cards,” Chouhan said.

The initiative is being launched under the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana.

A rickshaw costing about Rs.10,000 would be made available to each rickshaw puller. Of this amount, Rs.1,500 would be given as grant and Rs.8,000 as loan and Rs.500 would be given by the beneficiary as his contribution.

Similarly, a handcart puller will get a handcart costing about Rs.5,000. Of this amount, Rs.750 would be given as grant, Rs.250 as beneficiary’s contribution and Rs.4,000 as a bank loan.

“Besides, cycle rickshaw pullers and handcart pullers’ family members would also benefit under maternity aid, marriage help, medical assistance, insurance and education encouragement schemes and their dignity will also be secured,” he said.

In every urban area municipal corporation, municipal council and town panchayat, stands for rickshaw and handcart pullers would also be decided, he added.

Pointing out that intense labour was required in pulling the rickshaws and handcarts and the elderly employed in this occupation faced a tough time, he said that the state government would also consult scientists about the production of battery-fitted rickshaws and issued the directives to develop the sample of battery-fitted modern rickshaws in the next three months.

A committee of technical experts would be constituted to develop a sophisticated design of the cycle rickshaw. The committee would comprise the director general of Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology, managing director of Urja Vikas Nigam and representatives of Rajiv Gandhi Praudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya.

The committee would give its report on how rickshaw pulling can be made easier and use of alternate sources of energy.

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