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THE LAST OF KOLKATA
KOLKATA
INDIA
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Like the Victoria Memorial, the Howrah Bridge and the yellow Ambassador taxis, the rickshaw is one of the most recognizable symbols of Kolkata. Although the rickshaw, introduced to India by the British Raj in the 19th century, is also a symbol of the colonial past of this city of great contradictions. Kolkata, which like every big city aspires to be seen as a modern metropolis, is not comfortable with the sight of these carts pulled by emaciated and poor men. And although it was the first city in India to build the metro, it’s still one of the few cities in the world that still uses rickshaws as a means of urban transport.



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Although many governments in West Bengal have wanted to remove them from the streets, the socio-economic reality of the city makes them almost essential to move through the narrow streets of the old city, transporting packages to the bazaars, vegetables or chickens from the markets and they are even hired to take children to and from school. Or during monsoon season, when many streets are flooded and totally impassable for cars.

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As if reluctant to believe that one day the inevitable time will come when they will have to leave their rickshaws behind, the pullers continue to get up every day to tour the city and make rides transporting passengers and goods in exchange for a few rupees that they will save for send to their families.

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