The real cool dude: Wheels of Kindness
Known for their mood swings and nasty refusals, rickshaw drivers of the city can hardly be counted as do-gooders. But 53-year-old Kailash Krishna Mali, a rickshaw driver from Dehu Road, is catching people by surprise and setting the record right as he goes around town giving free rides to senior citizens, physically challenged and pregnant women.
Mali started his mission 11 years ago after a chance encounter with a young unemployed boy. “The boy was willing to work hard for a living but nobody was giving him work. I pulled some strings here and there and managed to get him a job as a rickshaw driver. It felt very nice to help someone else and I realised how fulfilling it is to be a blessing,” says Mali, who has been driving rickshaw for 25 years. The idea struck that helping people should not be a one-off deed and so he began offering free rides to pregnant women and the elderly on his way home after a hard day's work.
When word first got around about his service, fellow rickshaw drivers sneered at him and called him crazy. Now, however, is a different story. “Initially, I would hear people talk behind my back and say that I was losing my mind by not charging. But it did not matter to me. The passengers' smiles gave me inner peace. Eventually, other drivers also got inspired and we
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