Saturday, April 19, 2008

NGO gives city pullers a three-wheeled push

Pub on Monday April 7 2008 11:59 IST (IE)

CHENNAI: A Chennai-based NGO is giving city pullers a new push with its unique three-wheeler cart scheme.
The novel idea, which has been developed by the Assam-based Centre for Rural Development (CRD), will help fishermen living in Royapuram, Kalmandapam, Tondiarpet, Kasimedu and Korukkupet.
Under this scheme, which is based on the concept of asset-based loan, the beneficiaries would be given three-wheeler carts on rent for a period of seven months.
"Cyclerickshaws are losing business to the overcharging autorickshaws. The Rickshaw Bank Scheme introduced by the NGO has helped them a bit but there is still plenty to be done. The new scheme fills the blanks. The scheme will address a lot of issues. It will also help improve their income through assetbased entrepreneurship development," said Ilayaraja, coordinator of the Chennai branch.

The daily repayment scheme, which will be a one-window repayment system, will also provide social security, an accident insurance premium and ownership option to the pullers. It will also give them benefits like uniforms, licences and ID cards. The repayment will be done on a daily basis, added Raja. The amount collected will be Rs 50 (per day) for the first 15 days and Rs 25 for the rest of the days.

Three wheeler carts, Raja said, are a good transport option especially for fishermen based in North Chennai. The scheme will help the community increase their earning capacity.

The carts can also work in sandy terrain. More than 400 people from different areas have registered for these carts.