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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Lifestyle

Honesty stamp for Delhi autos
Vaishali Bhambri, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 02, 2013
First Published: 16:46 IST(2/10/2013)
Last Updated: 18:00 IST(2/10/2013)

Haggling with auto wallahs every day is a thing every Delhiite dreads.While assurances of action from the authorities are aplenty, radio channel Fever 104FM has gone a step ahead and started a campaign that promises to tell the ‘meter rickshaw’ from the ‘cheater rickshaw’! The Fever Ka Thappa campaign, launched last week, recognises auto wallahs who go by the meter as ‘Imaandar Autowallahs’, and stamp their auto as a reward. These auto wallahs then pledge not to bargain with commuters, and go by the meter always.

“Autos not adhering to rules, like not plying by meter, is one of the biggest problems the commuters in Delhi face today. This campaign is aimed towards making their life easier, and what better than they joining us in making it a reality. A lot of celebrities have endorsed this initiative and have added to the phenomenal response we are receiving from our listeners,” says Harshad Jain – Business Head, Radio & Entertainment, HT Media Ltd.

In just a week’s time, more than 1,500 autos have come forward to be stamped as honest meter rickshaws. And, they are delighted with it. “Jab se yeh thappa laga hai, zyada sawari milne lagi hai (ever since my auto got stamped, more people are willing to hire my auto),” says Manoj Singh, an auto driver.

The one-of-its-kind campaign is being supported by celebs, too. Pop Singer Honey Singh, who was shocked to know that travelling by meter was not a norm in Delhi, took up the challenge to do a random check. Dressed as a common man, he stopped an auto on Lodhi Road and asked the driver, “Kitna lagega?” and Ram Raj, the driver, who clearly did not recognise Singh, took him by surprise when he said, “Meter se chalenge!” Singh then stamped the auto. “Honesty pays off each time. I will always run my auto by the meter,” said Raj.

Commuters, too, are lauding the campaign. “I used to spend a good 15 minutes bargaining with an auto wallah, but now, as soon as I see an auto with ‘Fever ka Thappa’, I just board it and pay according to the meter,” says Rajat Kumar.


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