Hyderabad: In an unconventional form of protest, auto-rickshaw drivers in Medchal resorted to begging in front of women passengers in Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses.
The unique demonstration serves as a symbolic representation of the economic hardships faced by these drivers following the introduction of free bus travel for women by the Telangana government.
The state government’s initiative to provide free bus travel for women in TSRTC buses was aimed at promoting women’s safety and accessibility to public transportation.
However, the unintended consequence has been a significant decline in the number of passengers opting for auto-rickshaws, impacting the livelihoods of the drivers who heavily rely on daily fares.
Faced with mounting losses and struggling to make ends meet, auto-rickshaw drivers decided to bring attention to their plight through this unusual form of protest.
By begging in front of women passengers in the buses, they aim to highlight the financial challenges they are experiencing due to the shift in commuter preferences.
The protest is not only a cry for attention but also a plea for a reconsideration of the government’s policy, taking into account the adverse effects on the livelihoods of auto-rickshaw drivers.
The drivers hope that their unique demonstration will spark a dialogue and lead to a resolution that safeguards both the interests of women passengers and the economic well-being of the auto-rickshaw community.
As the symbolic protest unfolds in Medchal, it underscores the intricate balance required in policymaking to ensure the welfare of various stakeholders in the public transportation ecosystem.
The government now faces the task of addressing the concerns raised by the auto-rickshaw drivers while maintaining its commitment to providing accessible and safe transportation for women.