For rickshaw-pullers on campus, happy times | delhi | Hindustan Times
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For rickshaw-pullers on campus, happy times

During admission time, rickshaw-pullers income rises to Rs 450 or even Rs 600 per day. Parents prefer taking cycle-rickshaws to walking.

delhi Updated: Jun 24, 2008 02:12 IST
Karan Choudhury

Shambhu Lal is a happy man these days. Last year around this time, he was able to buy a mobile phone, this year he has adequate money to bring his younger brother to the city from Motihari, Bihar, and get him a job. All this because of the windfall he enjoys this time of the year when Delhi University is a hive of activity.

For the last one month, he has been earning a minimum of Rs 450 per day — thanks to the noiseless, eco-friendly though bumpy, cycle-rickshaw ride he offers thousands of Delhi University (DU) aspirants hunting for a college around North Campus. The ride is a blessing in disguise for students who don’t want to waste their energy trudging in the heat, and also for those clueless about the place.

“This is the only time we are able to earn a lot. I am able to save enough to send some back home. I have also made arrangements for my brother to come here and join me as a rickshaw-puller,” said Shambhu.

Normally, these rickshaw-pullers earn anywhere between Rs 200 and Rs 350 per day. In winters their earnings go down, as people prefer to walk.

During admission time, their income rises to Rs 450 or even Rs 600 per day. Parents prefer taking cycle-rickshaws to walking. A rickshaw-puller makes over 50 rounds of the whole campus on an average.

“Most of the time we get the fare we ask for. Not many haggle as most do not know the fares around this place,” said Rohtas, another rickshaw-puller.

Newcomers can be taken for a ride, literally. A ride from the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station to Hansraj College can lighten your wallet by Rs 40, when it should cost you no more than Rs 25. From Metro Station to the Vice Chancellor’s office, the fare is between Rs 10 and Rs 15, but the rickshaw-pullers ask much more.

The best hagglers it seems are the female students at DU. “They always ask for more. One just has to be stern, only then do they agree to the right fare. Why should we pay more when we have to live off pocket money?” said Jaishree Verma, a third year DU student.