Among the great cities of the world, Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and the home of nearly 15 million people, is often mentioned as the only one that still has a large fleet of hand-pulled rickshaws.
Hand-pulled rickshaws made their appearance in this former British capital over a century ago, and several thousand continue to ply the streets today.
Rickshaws are not there to haul around tourists; their steadiest customers are schoolchildren and local people who tend to travel short distances, through lanes that are sometimes inaccessible to even the most daring taxi driver. They also used to deliver all sorts of things to hotels, shops, and homes around the city.
From June to September Kolkata gets torrential rains and entire neighborhoods can’t be reached by motorized vehicles, so the normal customer base for rickshaw wallahs expands greatly, as does the price of a journey.
Government and local authorities are menacing to ban rickshaws for years, because they are relic of colonialism and for humanitarian considerations, refusing to see human beings carrying other humans, but at the same time, they question themselves whether they have the right to take away their livelihood.
Critiques | Translate
emka (84305) 2011-05-02 23:41
Nice nostalgic photo. Pleasant portrait of the rickshaw man. In Japan there are still many rickshaws, mainly for tourists. They are quite expencive and the idea someone is working hard that I can be lazy doesn't apply for me, so I have never used it.
baclama (18409) 2011-05-02 23:43
un tres beau portrait entre beauté, fierté, humilité...
une belle perspective qui fait toute l'originalité de ce portrait
comme la formule le dit : 'bien vu, bien fait!"
Suppiluliuma (3889) 2011-05-02 23:58
Although I would probably have felt uneasy using a rickshaw as well, "renting someone else's manpower" is more widespread than we tend to believe. I guess, this example is more direct than others, whereas making porters carrying our bags, a worker working in a steel factory, or a taxi driver working late hours are more disguised forms.
I like the idea of a portrait with blurred background giving the details of the working environment. The triangle formed by two wallahs is praise-worthy, and the focus & the note are excellent.
rmajum (1151) 2011-05-03 0:24
Great portrait! here is a picture from my city Kolkata,the City of Joy.
Hand pulled rickshaws are a part of life in central Kolkata mainly. But they do carry tourists also especially in the Esplanade/Museum area.
Rickshaws are a great help during monsoon months or in hot summer.
Good descriptive text and focussing. Yes it is a picture of a traditional trade which may not continue for long.
jjcordier (78372) 2011-05-03 0:32
Je n'ai pas grand chose à rajouter à ce qu'a dit Véro!Un portrait tout en délicatesse, riche de sens et remarquablement réalisé.
macondo (18623) 2011-05-03 1:49
Very good daily life photo, with the subject occupying most of the frame - the composition/crop is ideal. I like the slightly blurred repetition of the subject in the background - the other rickshaw gives us a good idea of this man's trade. You captured the light on his face very well. Kolkata is the only place where I have every employed the services of a rickshaw, or any kind of human-powered vehicle, and that was long ago. I would not like to see these men lose their livelihood.
Excellent photo and note.
yquem46 (38750) 2011-05-03 1:55
Quel beau regard de cet homme qui pose, avec fierté et beaucoup de naturel dans sa posture, pour ton objectif
Une note intéressante aussi. Tu sais bien sûr qu'à Delhi les rickshaws sont interdits en ville. Je ne sais ce qu'il en est à Mumbai mais je n'ai pas souvenir d'en avoir vu beaucoup
Sonata11 (33526) 2011-05-03 16:20
a very lovely portrait of the rickshaw man.They are working very hard, to make some money for living. This man doesn't look young any more. How long he can work like that?. I feel sorry for them. Wonderful presentation and informative note. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful job.
All the best,
annjackman (20539) 2011-05-04 0:19
The composition with the close-up and low POV is outstanding and separates it from the usual type of tourist picture. The man in the FG seems at ease with having his photo taken. What completes this for me is the rickshaw further back with the man looking back at you. Great work.
sevy (15367) 2011-05-04 1:20
J ai apercu cette photo hier, mais pas eu le temps de laisser un commentaire. Je me rattrape aujourd hui.
J aime beaucoup les portraits au grand angle ce qui donne une approche journalistique. En plus du portrait on a le travail, l environnement etc... Une photo pleine d info.
En prime un super cadrage, notamment dans l inclusion du 2nd rickshaw.
vasilpro (41091) 2011-05-04 9:35
Wonderful composition, beautiful portrait with very nice expression, excellent POV, lovely light and colors.
Warm regards, Vasilis.
BennyV (14167) 2011-05-06 7:50
A warm portrait, kind interaction between photographer and photographed. I also like the way the subject is echoed by the second driver in the bg.
SteveH (6247) 2011-05-07 23:34
Hi Andre, great shot, inclusion of the second rickshaw works well, especially as the drivers are in a similar pose. POV was well chosen too. Cheers, Steve
scroller (3407) 2011-05-09 12:34
I can imagine the questions coming when you sat on your knees(?) to get the low pow. The photo does not only displays a very good light but also a sense of a relaxed man.
Robert1969 (7160) 2011-05-09 22:10
It's funny to see that the other guy also looked at you.
Of course I mean funny in a positive sense, because these guys have a tough job ( I have a great respect for them).
This effect with the nice DOF and point of view creates(it's started beautiful from the wheel) a nice depth in this picture.
The great composition and light makes the picture complete.
- Copyright: Andre Roberge (InasiaJones) (31562)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-02-24
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/180 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2011-05-02 23:14
- Favorites: 1 [view]