Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Strangely, there isn't much cheer in the puller community. Mansoor Ali is a septuagenarian and has been plying the streets for almost 50 years after he came from Bihar and made a slum near Mullick Bazar his home. "Gaon mein log bolte thay, Calcutta bada seher hain, wahan kuch na kuch kaam mil jayega (People back home used to say that Calcutta was a big city where you could get some job or the other)." He did not have the money to buy his own rickshaw, so he rented one to earn a living. Isn't he relieved that he will no longer have the back-breaking task of pulling his customers through narrow lanes? "Do you think it is possible for a 70-year-old man at the end of his life to get trained to drive a battery-operated vehicle?" he counters, at once underlining the enormity of the task at hand for the government.

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