March 26, 2008
Rickshaws drive the economy of Dhaka, while in neighboring (or at least nearby) Kolkata, they are seen as a relic of imperialism and are being phased out. In New Delhi the rickshaw-wallahs are fighting to stay. The Kolkata link is to National Geographic and is pretty incredible.
The web tells us rickshaws were invented by a European missionary in Japan in the 1870s or 1880s. They're sometimes touted as earth-friendly because they're exhaustless, but of course we've all heard the extremely dubious counter argument that physical labor demands more food as fuel and so walking is harder on the earth than driving.
There is no point to this. Just something to think about.