Monday, April 23, 2012

Fazilka’s ecocab project in race for int’l award

Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, April 22

The Dial-a-rickshaw, Fazilka's eco-cab venture, has been short-listed for the SMART Mobility Enterprise Award 2012. The project has to compete with 14 contenders for the award. Besides Dial-a-rickshaw, there are two more entries from India — G-Auto and Ideophone.

The award was constituted by the University of Michigan's SMART Program (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation), USA, for the best social entrepreneurs and businesses focussing on sustainable transportation globally.

The Dial-a-rickshaw was introduced by a local NGO, the Graduate Welfare Association, Fazilka (GWAF), in 2008 to promote a non-motorised system. The aim was to fight global warming.

Out of the 15 final entries, the first three winners would be selected by online voting and the result would be declared on May 1. The first three awards would be conferred on the representatives of the projects at the UN Conference on Sustainability Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 13.

"To be among the world's top 15 contenders for the prestigious award is a feat in itself. However, we need the support of Indian nationals to win the award. We urge them to vote online for Ecocabs Dial-a-Rickshaw, placed fourth on the list. A person can vote for three ventures. We hope India win the top three awards," said GWAF general secretary and in-charge of the project Navdeep Asija.

"The award can give the small town a brand new identity," hoped Asija.

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