Second rickshaw race in three decades

Second rickshaw race in three decades

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The colorfully decorated non-motorized vehicle—known as rickshaws– are everywhere in the bustling
metropolis Dhaka. The men who manoeuvre the three-wheelers around the city are known as rickshaw
pullers.Forced by famine, floods, and debt, an estimated nine out of ten rickshaw drivers have migrated to
Dhaka to earn their livelihood.
For the first time in the country’s history, a rickshaw race was held in city’s Manik Mia Avenue on Friday
afternoon.
Five best rickshaw pullers were awarded after the amusing race. Azhar Ali got Tk 1 lakh as first prize,
Chhakku got Tk 50,000 as second prize, Dijen Swarma got Tk 30,000 as third prize while Md Abbas and
Alam Sheikh got Tk 25,000 and Tk 20,000 respectively as fourth and fifth prizes.
The award giving ceremony was attended among others, by Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk
Khan, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Shiro Sadoshima and JICA Chief Representative to Dhaka Dr
Takao Toda.
In his reaction, first prize winner Azhar Ali said, “I am feeling proud and I never thought of getting such
prize by pulling rickshaw. Nobody thinks about rickshaw pullers. I am also feeling good to show that
rickshaw pullers also can do something.” banglanews24.com
It is to be noted here that the military government of HM Ershad had organised a similar rickshaw race at the Manik Miah Avenue in the early eighties of the last century to evoke sympathy of the rickshawpullers to his government as strict enforcement of traffic rules made most of them hostile.

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