Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vendors and People on Wheels

Man started its journey on wheels and horse riding was replaced with stage coaches and carts driven by the beast of burden. The fast developing pace of technology replaced carts and horse drawn coaches with cars and trucks and trains and soon these horse drawn coaches and man driven wheel trollies became a rapidly fading past.

But while one may not come across carts and trollies driven by man and animal in the developed countries, these may be a common sight in the developing and under-developed countries, where people still use two wheelers for most of their daily chores and hand driven trollies to earn living by poor vendors.

Most countries in Asia still cling to these forms of travel and one more often than not comes across donkey driven carts, hand driven trollies, motorcycles  and rickshaws twittering by in the streets and roads, for a majority cannot afford the luxury of cars. And many still would prefer a cheap donkey driven cart to an expensive truck for shifting and carrying luggage.

Pakistan, too has all form of the wheels and vendors as talked about above and one can see these in abundance on our roads, side by side the glittering and flashing limousines. I am sharing photos of these forms and one can still find people contended with what they have and go about their business of life on wheels –the number of wheels though depends on the budget and the degree of affordability, though.

Motorcycles are the fastest growing and used mode of transportation. In cities and villages one can find these  two wheelers used for almost anything. Even milk sellers and vendors use these extensively for their business. There are some photos on the net where people are carrying goats and even monkeys on the motorcycles. The trend of underage youngsters is also on the increase and so is the menace of wheeling, which has taken lives of many and crippled others for life. One may often come across complete family moving on two wheels - accommodating two adults and many children as can be seen in one of the photos above.

Donkey carts are the cheapest available means of transportation, both in cities and villages. These provide  cheap alternative to expensive petrol / diesel driven pick-ups and trucks for transportation of lighter weights and smaller distances.In one of the photos that I saw on net, a rickshaw has been seen being transported on a donkey cart.

Cycles are the poor's Rolls Royce  completely independent of price hike of petrol. - although it requires every bit of bodily strength, which even the poorest and oldest can muster to move about.

Rickshaws came as a cheap alternative to Taxis many decades ago and Vespa rickshaws (above bottom left) became instant priority hired transport for a couple or three. But these are extremely noisy and pollutant since these are based on two-stroke technology. Recently four stroke rickshaws (above in yellow) with four stroke engine are not only environment friendly, less noisy but also comfortable to ride in. Use of motorcycles with indigenous carrier cabins (below right) has become popular as even poor can afford to get one made from their own motorcycles and earn their livelihood. These rickshaws have almost outsmart the horse driven tongas from cities.

Three-Four wheel trollies are favourites of poor vendors, requiring no fuel and means of pulling, except the owner's strength. One can find vendors selling vegetable, fruits, kulfi (an indigenous ice cream made of milk and sugar). 

This is the carriage of a horse / donkey driven cart

Photo Attribution: All the photos above have been shared with due courtesy of my Flicker friend Tahir Iqbal’s set of Lyallpur – West Punjab. Although all photos are taken from the streets of Lyallpur, now called Faisal Abad, these represent the overall transportation means of poor and middle class people of the entire country. Tahir Iqbal has extensive coverage of cities of Pakistan and has traced back history of few cities. I have already shared his photos in my earlier posts as under: