The Rickshaw Project is one of the ventures of the Network of Organisations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP).

People with disabilities (PWDs) are often viewed as a burden, and while most people want to help, many do not want to be directly involved.

Launched in 2012, The Rickshaw Project was born as a solution for creating employment opportunities for PWDs and help establish a platform through which the unequal treatment and negative social perceptions of PWDs can be challenged and ultimately changed.

With support, and contributions, the project now has four rickshaws, which the team aims to equip with GPS trackers; and three trained drivers who are certified to drive various retrofitted vehicles.

The rickshaws are retrofitted for accessibility, and are completely hand-controlled.

The project is a user-friendly, rickshaw-to-your-doorstep service, where customers can call at their call centre to place an order, and a rickshaw will pick them up from their desired location.

Furthermore, the project team has also started sensitisation training sessions at various workplaces in order to create awareness and make people realise the importance of integrating PWDs into their spaces.

Speaking to Dawn, Project Manager (and South Asia's first visually impaired psychologist), Zulqurnain Asghar explains the main working areas of the project, while PWD drivers Imran and Siraj talk about the functionality of the retrofitted rickshaws and their personal experiences.

The Rickshaw Project: On the road to change

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Comments (23) Closed

Ahmed
Jul 04, 2014 11:22am
Great work! I am extremely proud of our fellow Pakistanis with challenges that they never ask for help...and with smile keep marching on proudly and with dignity...it is our duties as Pakistanis to help the best we can and never let them down...I salute you my friends!!! (A message from a Pakistani Canadian)
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zaman
Jul 04, 2014 11:55am
It would be nice if rickshaw driver and passenger seat both have seat belts too for the safety purpose.
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Rashid Rupani
Jul 04, 2014 12:24pm
I am proud of NOWPD and AKCFP for such initiative!
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edwardian
Jul 04, 2014 01:52pm
The Rickshaw Project can go further and introduce an android or any other OS app for the masses to download on their smart devices. The app could request a ride and get picked up at any location on the map, even if the passenger doesn't know the exact address as Pakistani streets are not marked. GPS will help the user and service provider. Also the app could be developed to give the fare beforehand between the pickup point and destination.
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Karachi Wala
Jul 04, 2014 02:03pm
Good initiative. It is heartening to see that both rickshaw drivers beside being hardworking seem to be very intelligent.
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Karachi Wala
Jul 04, 2014 02:13pm
"It would be nice if rickshaw driver and passenger seat both have seat belts too for the safety purpose." Wouldn't it take the thrill of rickshaw riding away? Just joking..... it is a good suggestion. While they are working to modify these rickshaws, they should also try to make it a model for others to follow. I think it would be a good idea if secured doors can be placed for the passengers and drivers both. Also, it should be made health and environment friendly by somehow doing away with typical rickshaw loud and unpleasant noise.
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Dr. Cajetan Coelho
Jul 04, 2014 02:21pm
People with disabilities need to be made equal partners in our Planet re-orienting enterprise. The Rickshaw Project is a fine initiative of empowerment.
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Iqbal Zaman Khan
Jul 04, 2014 04:52pm
Great effort. However it should be named People With Special Needs PWSN rather than People wWith Disabilities PWD to keep their dignity.
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Mir Mohammad
Jul 04, 2014 06:07pm
This is an extremely good project. It gives work to many disabled people who want to work and be a breadwinner for their families but their disability hinders them. Such innovative projects define the development of any nation.
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Dr Khurshid S Khan
Jul 04, 2014 06:29pm
Well done guys ! This is one of the practical ways to make the life of special needs people truly respectful and meaningful.
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Akram
Jul 04, 2014 06:38pm
an inspiring story, nothing is impossible if only we put our minds to it.
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Nasser
Jul 04, 2014 06:42pm
It is nice to get some good news about our people. Keep it up Dawn. Not all is bad.
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mike ghaous
Jul 04, 2014 09:48pm
Ricks are integral part of KHI transportation system, specially for within city commute. Projects like these & others, Call a Rick , Electric motor driven Ricks etc. will improve the system. Last breakthough was CNG operated Ricks.
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mike ghaous
Jul 04, 2014 09:48pm
Ricks are integral part of KHI transportation system, specially for within city commute. Projects like these & others, Call a Rick , Electric motor driven Ricks etc. will improve the system. Last breakthough was CNG operated Ricks.
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Abdul Mannan Mulla
Jul 05, 2014 01:00am
Congratulations, it's a very good noble cause to help the PWD's perform their jobs in dignity. I pray for the success of this project. I am glad it has been launched in the Holy month of Ramadhan.
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Nauman
Jul 05, 2014 07:00am
Its a very good project, i can see a big smile on impaired drivers and they feel very proud too, kindly suggest the safety belt as well... thanks,
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sameer
Jul 05, 2014 11:32am
It sounds good to still have the these literate bodies in our police constable departments.
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sameer
Jul 05, 2014 11:34am
@Nauman I suggest to consider the the basic need of the nation first rather than fulfilling already settled matters or initiatives.
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Ali Vazir
Jul 05, 2014 04:49pm
I am for the comments by Karachi wala. Yes, it should be environment friendly and not in the hands of illiterate cheaters, who remove the silencer and never fix a shock absorber under the passenger seat.
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Asif Rehan Dar
Jul 05, 2014 09:30pm
@zaman Dear Zaman. we will follow and act on your suggestion in our next production. we produce these Rickshaws under the name of STAHLCO COMMANDO. Best Regards Asif Dar
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sunny boye
Jul 06, 2014 03:53pm
Keep up the great work all associated... Karachi no doubt has lived upto its reputation of philanthropy...which odds now creative philanthropy... Best
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Henna Saeed
Jul 06, 2014 10:19pm
This is Lahore based story or Karachi?
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Akhter Husain
Jul 07, 2014 09:36pm
My salute to innovators,I hope the governments show some generosity and subsidizes the cost for the PWDS.
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