The Humble Rickshaw Transforming Lives. 26th September, 2016
For many people in the West, the bicycle, the motorcycle and their variants have become status symbols as much as modes of transport. High quality engineering, a boom in leisure sports and pandering to lifestyle dreams have been accompanied by increasing prices with many top machines costing the equivalent of a year’s salary or more.
For millions of others around the world though, the humble bike, tricycle or motorbike is not just a means of transport but an invaluable tool in their fight against poverty. Many of these machines are the basis for rickshaw taxis which are the main means of transport and prevalent throughout Asia and the Far East.
For many families, they are a significant - sometimes the only - means of earning income and sustaining them. Providing this livelihood tool can transform a family’s struggles, as Saleha Khatun is hoping one donor’s generosity will do for her.
Her husband, Kalim Hossain, died more than 7 years ago, leaving Saleha to care for their two children. The 40 year-old widow’s home is a single room that she shares with her son Mohammad Alam Sunny, aged 16, and 17 year-old daughter Tamanna Khatun in Saidpur, Bangladesh.
Their sole income comes from Mrs Khatun’s work as a maid - her daughter is in school but Sunny had to drop out of education due to the family’s financial situation and now works as a trainee welder, a risky job from which he receives no income.
Struggling to meet their basic needs and unable to borrow money as she cannot repay it, Mrs Khatun appealed to Islamic Help and a generous donor, Mohamed Hassan Lutfy Ossman, from London, answered her plea by donating for an auto rickshaw for the family.
The vehicle, donated by Lutfy in memory of his late wife Yvonne Maria Ossman was handed over to the family at a ceremony attended by Islamic Help staff,volunteers and local government officials.
Thanking the donor, Mrs Khatun said she would be keeping him and his late wife in her prayers. His generosity meant her son could now boost the family’s income prospects by driving the rickshaw for a living. The opportunity also meant they could look forward to a life in which the daily struggle for basic necessities was replaced by hope and prosperity, she said.
You can change a family’s life by donating to our livelihood projects. Donate today.