After the Taj Mahal and railway station becoming free wi-fi zones in Agra, an auto-rickshaw driver – driven by the spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ – is also providing the facility to passengers getting down at the Agra Cantt railway station.
“I bought this auto-rickshaw two months ago and wanted to make it a fully equipped vehicle. Tourists have access to free wi-fi on trains and at railway stations but they face connectivity problems while travelling to hotels or monuments” says Ifraq Khan, 40, the man behind the idea.
“This made me keep a wi-fi device in my auto-rickshaw and the idea worked well, for which I have to bear expenses of Rs 500 every month. The satisfaction of my passengers while using the service compensates for the added expense,” Khan says adding that even his passengers seem ready to pay extra for the facility.
“I tell them the password and enable passengers to use the internet,” says Khan who recollects a foreign tourist’s statement – “This is crazy technology in India”. The tourist said this was the first auto rickshaw (with wi-fi facility) he had travelled in, claims Khan who is popularly known as ‘Lalla Bhai’ in the area.
Khan is driving auto-rickshaw for the past 15 years in the city. This is the third auto he has purchased and holds it as his most precious one.
“Quite a few tourists who get down at the railway station ask for me as their friends had told them about their experience in my auto-rickshaw” Khan says proudly.
“Athithi Devo Bhava – should not remain a slogan, it should be practiced,” he believes.