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Rickshaw Pullers Felicitated At Photo Exhibition In Kolkata

The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee.

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  • Part of a big project “Stone – Being and Becoming”, the 14-day exhibition that began on Friday, showcases 15 freeze shots of the hand-pulled rickshaw.
  • The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee.
  • The hand pulled rickshaw has been a medium of conveyance in the city since 1914, three years after the national capital was shifted to Delhi from Kolkata.

KOLKATA: Part of a big project “Stone – Being and Becoming”, the 14-day exhibition that began on Friday, showcases 15 freeze shots of the slow-moving but environmental-friendly vehicles, which run through large parts of the eastern metropolis carrying passengers.These hand-pulled rickshaw, which has through the decades emerged as a symbol of Kolkata despite facing threats to its existence in an age of speed and mechanised transport, is the cynosure of all eyes in an ongoing photo exhibition depicting the trials and tribulations of the pullers.

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Clicked by Rajesh Gupta, an eye-catching photo captures a wheel of the rickshaw and the tired feet of a puller apparently resting on the vehicle.Another frame in black and white presents a row of rickshaws against the background of a desolate house enveloped by the gigantic roots of what could be an unseen grand old banyan tree.A third photo contains a melancholy portrait of a rickshaw puller sitting on the footrest of his vehicle with an intense gaze.
With some of the photographs bringing out the lonely existence of rickshaw pullers, Gupta said: “While interacting with them I realized that they don’t have any dream. They are forced to stay within their circle. Even if they want to come out of that circle, they can’t.”
Forty two of the rickshaw pullers were felicitated on Sunday at the exhibition venue – Harrington Street Art gallery.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The rickshaw pullers had their moments under the sun as they were given t-shirts, served blueberry cakes, and introduced to celebrities like actors Om Puri and Swastika Mukherjee. “Rickshaw pullers are intrinsic to Kolkata. Memorabilia, t-shirts everything talks about them. We wanted to glorify the real heroes of the city,” said photographer Kounteya Sinha, one of the key persons in the project.Om Puri, who once played the role of a rickshaw puller in Roland Joffe’s “City of Joy”, said: “Kolkata’s iconic rickshaw, which is part of its history, should never die.””In monsoons when the streets are flooded, rickshaws become the only mode of transportation” he said. Puri added that like Hong Kong, Kolkata should also make rickshaws a tourist attraction and allow them to function in limited parts of the city where they don’t cause hindrance to the traffic.

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The hand pulled rickshaw has been a medium of conveyance in the city since 1914, three years after the national capital was shifted to Delhi from Kolkata. Few years back the West Bengal government brought a proposal to ban rickshaws. But in the face of tremendous opposition from green activists, civil society and heritage experts, the decision was taken back.(Source: IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This exhibition will prove boon to these rikshaw pullers to get their business back.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    hats off to these rickshaw pullers, they chose to work hard and get money rather than those beggars who wish to get paid without any kind of hardwork

Next Story

Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand to open art gallery consisting 8 quintal photographs

Wanderer Baba aka Click Baba Swami Sundaranand is all set to open his art gallery

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Himalayan Yogi
Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is also known as “Himalayan Wikipedia Baba”, have clicked 8 quintal photos in beautiful Himalayas

You must have heard about many Himalayan yogi living upto hundreds of years and having miracle powers. But this is the story of a wanderer Sadhu, who is a mountaineer and photographer by choice. He has a deep connection with Himalayas. Swami Sundaranand is known to be a principal advocate for the ecological preservation of the Himalayas, the Ganges and its source at Gangotri.

During 1962 war Indian Army also sought help from this Himalayan Yogi as he was very much aware with all the routes and region in Himalayas.

Swami Sundaranand’s love for Himalayas started at a young age when he read a book named “Himgiri Vihaar” by Tapovan Maharaja. He was so inspired by the book that he went to Tapovan Maharaja and started Yoga Sadhna under his guidance.

Swami Sundaranand
Tapovan Kutir, where Swami Sundaranand lives in the summer (Facebook)

In 1956 he bought a camera for Rs. 25 from a Belgian tourist. And since then he has been clicking pictures of the beautiful Himalayas. He has taken more than 100,000 photos, over a 50-year period, of the shrinking Gangotri glacier in the Indian Himalayas. The photographs he clicked weighs around 8 quintals.

  • The most awaited Art Gallery by Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand will open in Gangotri region

Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is now all set to open his Himalayan art gallery at a height of 10,310 feet in Gangotri region. The construction has already begun. He has invested Rs. 2 crores in this project, money which he got through royalty of his book “Himalaya : Through a lens of a Sadhu”. His book was launched by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Swami Sundaranand is the subject of a feature documentary shot at his home in Gangotri titled “Personal time with Swamiji”. The film was produced by The Centre for Healing Arts and directed by Victor Demko.

Himalayan Yogi
Swami Sundaranand’s Art Gallery under construction in Gangotri Region (Facebook)

Himalayan Yogi Swami Sundaranand is also a skilled naturalist who is familiar with thousands of Himalayan plants and he knows the lore and medicinal uses of these species. The most important parts of his life are meditation, japa and pranayama. As a younger man he was an accomplished hatha yogi, mastering 300 postures, and he continues to practice it daily. He is very devoted to the ecosystem in which he has lived for forty years and believes that “God does not reside in temples or mosques – he is scattered everywhere in the courtyard of nature.

So Himalayan Yogi’s art gallery you can not miss to visit! Plan your trip soon and thank us later.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik