These days, I have been living at my hometown Darbhanga. This time, I am either walking or taking ride on Rikshaw for going some places mostly hospital or home of relatives.
Today, I just hired a rickshaw near Digghi Pokhar. As I have been reading a book titled “The Economics of Small Things” these days, I started looking things with different angles. My first observation was the torn pedal. On many occasions I used to ride bicycle sometimes with similar torn pedsl or just pushing the rod of pedal whose cushion part got broken and fell somewhere. I realised the difficulty of riding in such situation. I was thinking probably the rickshaw puller was saving some money to get it mended. Suddenly, my eyes focussed on his bare legs. Becoming empathetic to him, I felt the pain he must be feeling. I thought, he must be spending all his earnings on drinks only. I asked him, “why are you not buying chappal?” Expressing anger for newcoming autorikshaws, which give fast service at much lower rate, taking their market prospects, he mentioned about their earnings coming down. While talking with him, I was thinking there must be some allowance for obsolete technology, as new technology are taking jobs of people in fifties, else giving them training and resources to adopt new technology.
Becoming more compassionate, I thought to offer him a pair of chappals. I asked him to stop at some shops. May be the shopkeeper also realised something and he offered the chappals on subsidized rate. He charged Rs. 150 instead of Rs. 200, telling he was not going to make any profit for this.
I just enquired about his family background. He was just 50, but looked as above 60. He was unmarried. His fingers were half cut. He has quite anger for government for not taking care of poors like them.