Rickshaw-hailing service for refugee camps wins a $1 Million Prize

  • This year’s Hult Prize, which was focused on tech for refugees this year, gave its prize to Roshni Rides, which is attempting to bring better transportation to Orangi Town, Karachi slum that houses more than 2 million refugees.
  • A Pakistani-American team from Rutgers University has won this year’s $1 million Hult Prize, a high profile, global contest for student social entrepreneurs.
  • The company, called Roshni Rides, is developing a rickshaw-based shuttle network for refugees camps, hoping to spread economic opportunity to groups disenfranchised by their location and a lack of other transport options.
  • Roshni Rides is aimed particularly at women who feel uncomfortable sharing crowded buses with men and who can’t afford to hire rides in their own rickshaws.
  • Roshni originally planned to develop solar-powered rickshaws, but it later switched to conventional natural-gas-powered vehicles. The latter requires less new infrastructure, including dedicated charging points, and less specialist maintenance. It’s roughly half the cost, the team says.

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