Thursday, October 6, 2011

Q&A with Nirmal Kumar: Transforming Paratransit in India

G-Auto is an innovative auto rickshaw service started in Ahmedabad, India. G-Auto works to organize auto rickshaw drivers under a social umbrella, which provides safety and comfort to passengers, as well as income and job satisfaction to drivers.
The service was started by Nirmal Foundation, a public charitable trust that works in the development sector. Nirmal Kumar,  an MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), is the founder and chairman of Nirmal Foundation.
We asked Nirmal Kumar a few questions to understand the inspiration behind G-Auto and the improvements it has brought to Ahmedabad’s transport sector.

What is G-Auto service?  When did it start and in which cities?
G-Auto service started in 2009 in Ahmedabad. G-Auto represents common rickshaw drivers and works for their social and financial upliftment under a social brand name. Any rickshaw driver who wants to join G-Auto can do so, subject to conditions that he would follow government terms and conditions and would not harass or overcharge the passengers. In other words, we are a non-governmental organization working with following objectives:
  • To ensure social and financial upliftment of auto rickshaw drivers and their families;
  • To ensure safety and transparency in auto rickshaw service;
  • To make traveling by auto rickshaws a pleasant and passenger-friendly experience, and;
  • To make auto drivers aware and responsible citizens.

photo by Mr Jon Ardern Esq.

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