In today’s fast-paced life, everyone is in an indefinite race against time. There are so many aspirations, expectations and dreams that demand constant hard work. Taking time out to do something for someone seems like a luxury only rich people can afford.
The truth however is, that one does not have to be rich economically to do something good for others, or even to become a philanthropist. Proving this is an auto-rickshaw driver of Ahmedabad, Udaysinh Jadav.
Popularly known as Amdavadno Rickshawalo, Jadav follows Gandhian way of life and believes in the principle of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. In order to live by it, he walks an extra mile to treat his passengers as gods.
Jadav has customised his auto-rickshaw to install an array of facilities in it. The rickshaw has a mini library, stocked with books, as well as newspapers and magazines, an MP3 player to listen to songs, and even snacks and drinking water. Jadav is also unique in the way that he does not charge passengers as per the rickshaw meter. He hands an envelope to passengers at the end of the journey, and they can pay the amount they find appropriate.
Jadav’s family consisting of his wife and three children stand in solidarity with this initiative. While the income is never stable because of it, they have no qualms or complaints against it. At a time when there is constant mistrust among people against auto-rickshaw drivers or taxi drivers for tampering with the meter, Jadav’s initiative makes his customers believe in the goodness of people. And that is exactly what Jadav is aiming for.
Fondly addressed to as Udaybhai by his customers, Jadav now works for the Heritage Walk tour in which he takes the tourists to the heritage journey of the city of Ahmedabad. Owing to his popularity, he is mostly busy, and customers need to book for his services in advance.
Recently, on Gandhi Nirvana Day, at a workshop organised by Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute (MGLI) on traffic awareness, Udaybhai gave an address and stressed on the need for creating awareness about traffic rules, and for complying with traffic rules to make roads safer for vehicle drivers as well as pedestrians.