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The rickshaw puller

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In Dhaka, a bustling metropolis of twelve million people, visitors are struck by waves of rickshaws. The colorfully decorated non-motorised vehicles are everywhere. Yet rickshaw wallahs, the men who manoeuvre the three-wheelers around the city's congested and polluted streets, often remain voiceless.

Forced by famine, floods, and debt, an estimated nine out of ten rickshaw drivers have migrated to Dhaka, swelling the ranks of the city's urban poor. Mohammad Nantu Sarkar and his wife Fatima lead a hand to mouth existence in Dhaka's slums. They spoke to Siraj Sirajuddin.

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03/05/2008

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