"It is almost impossible for Dhaka's citizens to function without rickshaws," said Nurul Haque Nur, former vice president (VP) of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) at a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday noon.
He made these remarks protesting the declaration of a ban on battery-operated rickshaws and the City Corporation's eviction drive.
He said that it is a shame if police try and stop oppressed people from gathering in front of the Jatiya Press Club to press for their reasonable demands. Banning battery-operated rickshaws save rickshaw pullers from backbreaking work and banning them is completely unreasonable.
The protesters put forth a list of three demands---registration of all battery-operated rickshaws by a government institution; creation of a dedicated four-feet wide lane for rickshaws in city corporation areas; and a complete stop to all forms of harassment by the administration, political syndicate, and influential locals.
Nur agreed with the protesters, saying that their demands were completely rational.
Harun-or-Rashid, a physically challenged rickshaw puller said, "I have three children. I couldn't pull a rickshaw, so I wasn't able to earn at all last month. How will we buy food if battery-operated rickshaws are banned?"
Protesters participating in the human chain demanded the government make alternative earning arrangements for them if battery-operated rickshaws are not allowed to operate.
Convener of Bangladesh Worker Rights' Parishad, Abdur Rahman; Member Secretary, Arif Hossain, along with several hundred workers took part in the human chain.
On September 13, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) started renewal of registration for rickshaws, vans, wheelers, and horse carts. DSCC Mayor, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh banned battery-operated rickshaws from city corporation areas and has carried out several drives.