Four Pakistani American students from Rutgers University in New Jersey won the prestigious Hult Prize award on Sunday, securing $1 million in startup capital for their business, Roshni Rides.
Gia Farooqi, Hanaa Lakhani, Hasan Usmani, and Moneeb Mian were presented the award by former US president Bill Clinton after winning the world's largest such competition between students.
The Hult Prize Foundation focuses on innovative ideas to tackle social challenges in the world, and students from around the world compete for the prestigious award.
Roshni Rides is an e-rickshaw service that seeks to provide a transportation solution for refugees living in informal settlements around the world.
The startup uses solar energy to remain cost efficient and promises to be more affordable and safe than other transport options.
In a post on Roshni Rides' Facebook page, the winning team expressed their gratitude and thanked their friends and family for their support.
"Eleven months of hard work, sacrifices and endless support from our family, friends, advisors and wonderful community led to what was one of the most incredible opportunities we have had the privilege of experiencing," the group wrote.
"There are no words to express how happy, excited and blessed we feel right now after being presented the $1M award to restore the dignity of refugees," the group added.
"Four Pakistani Americans. Each one of those identities has shaped who we are as a team in wanting to give back to Pakistan and the greater community," the group added in their post.
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