Auto-rickshaw Drivers for Farmers
The autorickshaw chalaks of Dombivli are going to organise a very innovative campaign for farmers. They will request their customers to sign and post copies of the Dilli Chalo petition to the President of India.
November 21, 2018
Dombivli is a city in the Thane district of Maharashtra. It is to the northeast of Mumbai and a part of its larger sprawl. Every day thousands of commuters travel to and from Dombivli across the larger Mumbai-Thane metropolitan area. Under the leadership of the Lal Bavta Auto-Rickshaw Union, the rickshaw drivers of Dombivli have done this form of campaigning once before, with great success. This was when they were demanding better working conditions for themselves. They had then asked their customers to sign a paper petition and individually post it to the authorities. The response was overwhelming. Dombivli residents recognized how indispensable autorickshaw drivers are to their everyday lives.
On November 18, Mr. Kalu Komaskar the President of Lal Bavta Auto-Rickshaw Union convened a preparatory meeting for the Nation for Farmers, Dombivli chapter. The chapter announced that on Nov 25th, they will be campaigning across the city. Six nodal points were identified and it was decided that they will personally engage the citizens of Kalyan-Dombivli at these points, inviting them to Delhi to march with farmers and appealing them to sign the petition. A contingent from Dombivli will be joining other Mumbai groups on Nov 29th at Dadar (E) station at 5 pm.
It was at this meeting that Mr. Komaskar brought up this brilliant idea. He said that there is always a conflict between autorickshaw-walas and their customers. “We were able to bring them together and look out for each other’s interests” This has strengthened the bond between the commuters and their drivers.
Imagine extending this common bond to the farmer who feeds us all! Those of you who can go to Dombivli on Nov 25th please be there. People’s Archive of Rural India will be there talking to the autorickshaw-walas on this innovative form of campaigning.
Those of you who are connected with autorickshaw unions can mobilize their organizations to do similar things. Let the Hon. President of India hear from his citizens and see how much they care for each other. The Letter to the President is available here in 11 languages.
First published in Dilli Chalo.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.