Hand Pulled Rickshaw - Hath Rickshaw, Kolkata

Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken near Howrah Bridge, Kolkata.
Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken near Howrah Bridge, Kolkata.
Just few days before India Lockdown I was in Kolkata. My mom is from Kolkata and I had visited Kolkata many times in childhood, now it’s more of a business trips. I just Love Kolkata or I would say Calcutta, I don’t know why but Calcutta sounds and feels like something mine, somewhere I belong too and Kolkata does not. I have many stories from Kolkata which I will share in future but today I want to talk about Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw). 

As you can see Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) is a mode of transport where a person pulls the two wheeled cart with one or two passengers while running. I don’t want to talk about that it is good or bad or about its history or bla bla bal. . . . it all is everyone’s personal perspective.

I want to talk about is what a beautiful thing Hand Pulled Rickshaws is as a point of view of Photographer. Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) are left in Kolkata only, in India. I think we are seeing last of these and within few years they will vanish from the streets of Kolkata. These are just three pic’s of Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) which I took on my last trip of Kolkata but I would so love to be in Kolkata in Rainy Season and click lot and lot of Pictures of these Hath Rickshaw pullers and their Hath Rickshaws. 

Calcutta The City of Joy is still the Paradise for Street Photographers, If you love Street Photography then Calcutta is the must place to visit.

Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken near Kumartuli, Kolkata.
Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken near Kumartuli, Kolkata.

Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken at Bara Bazar, Kolkata.
Hand Pulled Rickshaw (Hath Rickshaw) The Picture was taken at Bara Bazar, Kolkata.

32 comments

  1. I could never enjoy a person doing that, I´d feel bad.
    Unless I have a broken leg or turned past 100 years of age, maybe.
    It´s great photography, but... to me that is disrespectful. Let a man carry you around like that whilst you´re on your cell and even have extra weight.I´d maybe ask for that bag to get transported but would walk then.
    A different world it is, huh.
    And so near via our blogs. A nice day to you, Manav. I learn a lot through blogs my teachers failed upon!

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    1. Thanks a Lot Iris. . . Yes a World apart but So near via our Blogs. . . . And yes you are absolutely right these blogs teaches us so many new things daily. . . Although it's a never ending topic but if you feel like you can also go through my reply on the Tom's comment below.

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  2. ...first I need to say that my knowledge of India is sorely lacking. I still remember names like Calcutta and New Delhi from I believe the colonial times. Since I live in a rural area, street photography is not a common activity for me. There is indeed an artistic element to be found in this environment, but I have a difficult time getting past the social element. Your last image sums up my thinking well, a person of privilege on his smartphone and a man earning day wages to help his family make it until tomorrow. I hope that my comments are not offensive to you.

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    1. No Tom there is nothing offensive about your comment. For me blogging is all about learning new things, these comments are like food to the roots they help you grow. I learn so many things from the blogs I visit daily.

      I just want to add something that the Socio Economic Situation of India is very complex for example it is 99% chance that the rickshaw puller in the last image Earn more than the guy who is sitting on his rikshaw. By his dress, looks, body language and by the location I clicked this pic - I can say easily guess that he works in some office at the position of Office Assistant/Helper who is here to book this package in courier. The salary of these kind of office boys in Kolkata is around 7,000 Rs monthly but now a days Rikshaw pullers earn around on an average 400 Rs a day 12000 Rs a month.

      In India skilled labor Earns much more than Most of the MBA’s and Engineering Degree holders. There were the times when I also use to pity on them but now at the age of 41 I am totally confused because on the index of Happiness and Satisfied life they are way ahead of us. . . . It’s a long never ending topic. . . . :)


      Below is the link of a recent Job Classified for the position of Office Assistant/Helper in which Basic Knowledge of computer was also required at Flipkart Warehouse in Kolkata. They are offering salary of 7,300 Rs a Month.

      https://www.indeed.co.in/viewjob?jk=e5b094ad0d9262e4&q=Office+Boy&l=Salt+Lake+City%2C+West+Bengal&tk=1e8me7dof994p800&from=web&vjs=3

      Below is the link of an article of "The Hindu Business Line" which was Published on August 14, 2018 Where it is mentioned that on the rental of around 20 Rs a day for the rickshaw, On a good day he earns 300-400 a day.

      https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/specials/india-file/for-this-rickshaw-puller-i-day-means-little/article24692887.ece

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    2. ...thank you for your thoughtful reply

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    3. Thanks and Welcome Tom. . . . :)

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  3. Beautiful captures of the hard working people. Do they still exist? Thought they were all replaced by cycle rickshaws.

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    1. Thanks Magiceye, Ya you can find them in Kolkata. . . :)

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  4. A beautiful view of a culture I have never experienced. No doubt, those are hard working people. It must take a lot of training to be able to pull and balance one of those rickshaws. Great sreet photo and thank you for all the info. Have a great day and stay safe.

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  5. I feel your joy in this place. I like the point of view as well as the expressions. Friendship

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  6. Beautiful tones and textures captured in these B&W photos!! Nice story lines as well.

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  7. My friend Manav! I just kept thanking you in my mind everytime I visit because you always share photos that are so strong it tells a story in themselves! I really hope I can learn to take photos more. thank you also for sharing about this culture of the hand-pulled rickshaw. I have seen this also in Kyoto, Japan where it is now regarded a luxury to ride it and the drivers are regarded as professionals. I've seen some of the drivers and they have killer legs that are strong enough to pull a mountain I think!

    Again thank you so much for these amazing captures!

    Stevenson

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  8. When a man's labor is all he has to sell, it is not disrespectful to pay him for his labor. One might say "I will never walk on a floor swept with a broom," or "I will never live in a house built of hand hewn timber," it is a sign of economic progress that the rickshaw driver can afford to upgrade his equipment, investing his capital and easing his life. Oh yes, a motorized rickshaw is less romantic and less photogenic. I am glad you captured these.

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  9. This is a beautiful photo but I think this is mode of transportation is really hard most especially for the driver....

    Glowyshoe's blog

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  10. Une vie que je n'arrive pas à imaginer
    JP

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  11. A little sad this photos, but, beautiful.

    Cores do Vício

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  12. Que bonitas imágenes.

    Besos

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  13. The hand-pulled rickshaws were abolished in Tamilnadu in the early sixties. Personally, I feel that it is 9inhuman asking a amn to pull another mani in a cart!! <ay be a photographer's delight...But...it leaves the heart heavy!!!

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    1. Yes Mam you are absolutely right with this point . . .

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  14. The people who make Kolkata - a city of joy!
    I had taken a ride... a painful memory for me. Blogged on it too.

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    1. Thanks for leaving the comment Indrani. . . :)

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  15. Very interesting sort of series of photographs...your photographic art is awesome and street photography being the most challenging field for the photographers with growing sense of privacy in urban areas, it is truly difficult to get adequate time and concentration to devote into it...yet, you simply are winner...we tell calcutta amonvst ourselves...kolkata is mostly used in written form...the earlier name carries the legacy...our childhood...our belongingness too...handcartpullers are social inditity...non should reject a reality as a matter of fact...many evils are there in ghe society...many larger than this, which we so casually accept as a matter of fact...the art is reflection of truth...my regards

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    1. Thanks a Lot Saibal Barman comments like these help you know that you are on a right track, Thanks a Lot once again. . . :)

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