Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan

NOWPDP seeks to create an inclusive society for people with disabilities in Pakistan. Its objectives are: - Generate a greater level of awareness about the needs and rights of people with disabilities. - Create employment opportunities for people with disabilities to gain economic independence. - Protect and advocate for the right of people with disabilities. - Increase the capacity of organisations working on disability across Pakistan.
Jul 28, 2014

Scaling-up The Rickshaw Project

TRP flyer got around 400 shares in only 2-days
TRP flyer got around 400 shares in only 2-days

Dear Supporters,

Gradually, the notion of people with disabilities offering a dial-a-rickshaw service is getting public receptiveness. With more customers and partners, we are moving towards our aim of making the project sustainable. During the last three months, the entire team of the Rickshaw Project has managed to attain the following goals:

  • We have streamlined the customers’ booking mechanism and now the customers can book the rickshaw by just filling out an online form
  • The recently shared service promotion flyer of the Rickshaw Project has gone viral at Facebook with more than 400 shares in just three days – numerous renowned personalities and celebrities have shown their support for this project. This has resulted in myriad queries from customers and have opened doors to forge institutional partnership
  • Since the project is also about advocating the rights of PWDs, we have given numerous sensitization sessions to the Pizza Hut employees. Zulqurnain Ashgar , who is the project manager for TRP and first visually impaired clinical psychologist of Pakistan has carried out these sessions
  • Amin Amir Andani has recently joined Rickshaw Project Team as a Project Officer (Operations). With his three years of experience in organizing large scale events of Pakistan, he will be a vital part of TRP to assist in the marketing and operational front
  • We have hired one more PWD named Arshad as our Project Driver. Before the rickshaw project, he faced sheer social discrimination – the streets of old Karachi area was his only home. According to Arshad, after joining the Rickshaw Project, his life has transformed. Not only he has got a job, but he uses the our office premises to live a quality life

We hope to have your continued support in future as well to steer us forward our journey of mainstreaming the people with disabilities. 

Best Regards,

The Rickshaw Project Team

TRP giving a Sensitization Session at Pizza Hut
TRP giving a Sensitization Session at Pizza Hut
Amin Amir Andani joins TRP as Project Officer
Amin Amir Andani joins TRP as Project Officer
Now our customers can book the rickshaw online
Now our customers can book the rickshaw online
Feb 7, 2014

Innovation and Urban Planning - Designing away!

Rahul Mehrotra in our rickshaw!
Rahul Mehrotra in our rickshaw!

Dear Supporters,

These are exciting times for The Rickshaw Project. As we strive to advocate for and raise awareness about people with disabilties - we have made significant strides to further a mandate through hiring, public speaking and product innovation - demonstrating that we are walking our talk!

The Rickshaw Project’s core team of three physically-impaired individuals after having undergone extensive training are now going to be led, from 10th February 2014, by Zulqarnain Asghar - the first visually impaired clinical psychologist in Pakistan. Zulqarnain brings with him 10 years of advocacy and awareness campaign experience in the disability sector and NOWPDP is thrilled and honored to have him onboard.

But the work has not stopped, the Project Drivers, with the assistance of the Advocacy & Training Officer, are actively involved in collaborative efforts with educational and private institutions in the last 3 months while catering to regular cutomers:

  • NOWPDP - our parent organization - has recently relocated to a beautiful house in the center of old Karachi as part of its initiative to take ownership and build an accessible office!
  • The Inclusive Society at The Lyceum School is working with us to create materials to use for our advocacy and sensitization efforts;
  • SZABIST (an engineering and social sciences university) has adopted The Rickshaw Project as a case study for their product design course. The students will be looking at elements of advocacy, sustanibility, engineering - through the lens of Finance, Social Sciences and Engineering coursework!
  • Engro Corp initiated a diversity initiative to make their workplace more inclusive; the team will be working to sensitize their workforce across the country and working with over 3000 employees of Engro!
  • The Rickshaw Team recently operated a shuttle service for the Pakistan Urban Forum - South Asian Cities Conference '14 at Frere Hall. We hope that those in attendance will raise the interests of various unrepresented and minority groups, including people with disabilities. The team has first hand experience of how exclusionary the urban planning process has been so far. Questions about institutionalized lack of accessibility; be it mass transport, housing, public institutions, etc - were asked and a dialogue was initiated. 

MOVING PEOPLE, CHANGING MINDS!!

Best Regards,

The Rickshaw Project Team

The team hard at work!
The team hard at work!
Our rickshaw navigating through a conference
Our rickshaw navigating through a conference

Links:

Oct 28, 2013

Improving Operations, Sensitizing workplaces!

The most incredible team in the world!
The most incredible team in the world!

Dearest supporters, friends, and cheerleaders,

It's time for another update on The Rickshaw Project - I'm sure you're all anxiously waiting to hear what we've been up to!

The Rickshaw Team decided to bring on board a super-skilled mechanic. We met Shabaz when we were purchasing our three shiny new rickshaws from Stahlco, a local rickshaw manufacturer. He was working with them at the time, but had already given his one month's notice, when we decided it would be perfect to scoop him up for our own team! He's not only keeping our rickshaws in tip-top shape, but also handling customers, tracking rickshaw usage, billing, and other operational tasks. This has really helped me (the project manager) as it has freed up a lot of my time to work on advocacy and sensitizations efforts.

Speaking of sensitization efforts, the international chain of restaurants the Rickshaw Team has been working with has met their 2 percent quota for people with disabilities! They are not yet announcing this as they want to ensure that every single person with disabilities hired is fully, gainfully, and happily integrated into their respective environments with the help of our team's sensitization work. We are now in the early stages of discussions with a large corporation with factories across Pakistan to do the same thing - work with them to ensure a completely inclusive work environment at their Head Office and all their factories over the next year and a half. And who better to do this than our very own Rickshaw Team! :D

We are also currently searching for more customers. We've managed to get some regular customers who are pleased with the service and happy to be partnering with us. We've begun generating revenue, and are seeing it rise steadily each month. We've stuck to word-of-mouth advertizing thus far so as not to be overwhelmed with calls. Most of our customers so far have heard about our service from some and have wanted to try it. So we feel our strategy is working quite well!

Finally, we will have a new person join our team on the 1st of November. She will be working on developing advocacy and sensitization materials with the Rickshaw crew-members. We want to incorporate audio-visual material in our training sessions (one-minute clips depicting the various barriers faced by people with disabilities in society). Our new team member will spend her days working on this exciting, essential, constantly evolving task.

As always, please do feel free to email me with any questions you may have. I can be reached at reem@nowpdp.org and at +92 345 827 7017

Sincerely,

Reem

PS - I have attached a couple of recent pictures of the team. Enjoy!

The team-family
The team-family

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