Around 500,000 cycle rickshaws ply the streets of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, providing employment to over one million poor people. In recent years, traffic jams and pollution have become a chronic problem in Dhaka, and rickshaws have had to compete for a place on the roads.
The Dhaka Urban Transport Project was developed as a partnership between the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank, to address the serious transport problems in Dhaka. One element of the project was to ban rickshaws from certain main roads. Whilst this has reduced congestion along these 'VIP corridors', particularly for car users, it has forces rickshaws onto the minor roads either side. This has resulted in increased congestion on small roads, and had a very damaging effect on the livelihoods of many rickshaw cyclists in the city.
This documentary is focused on rickshaw cyclists and provides them with a voice. Some vocalize their problems, others propose solutions. While there is no easy solution to the problems described, it is proposed that an improved consultative process could have resulted in a less harmful project.
The DVD is an insightful resource for organizations involved in advocacy and education relating to issues of urban poverty, livelihoods and transport development.