The rickshaw run is a lot more than just “an opportunity to break new grounds of silliness”. Do you really think we would ordinarily submit ourselves to 2000 miles of the most treacherous roads in an ill-equipped vehicle, merely in the name of a good ol’ boondoggle and without some greater cause? Well, maybe we would…

But luckily we don’t need to ponder that question, as the Rickshaw Run DOES have a greater cause – all of the money that is raised goes directly to charity to benefit some of the poorest people in India. Our team is dedicated to raising funds for three charities: Mercy Corps, Mumbai Mobile Creches, and Dasra.

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is the official charity partner of the RickshawRun. Each team that enters the Rickshaw Run is required to buy their rickshaw outright. This rickshaw is then donated to an indebted family near the finish line to help relieve them of debt and provide them with a livelihood. The philosophy behind it is that it is best to ‘teach a man to fish’; that is, to provide a family with a means of being self-sufficient.

The idea is pretty simple – many autorickshaw taxi drivers are forced to live in a state of poverty because they don’t have the money to buy their rickshaw. They borrow the money or rent the rickshaw often at extortionate rates. It means that while they can earn a living from the taxi fares, a large amount of it, often more than half goes to pay off the debt or pay the rent for the vehicle. Giving a Rickshaw to a poor family is a huge life changing gift that enables them to earn a living without the burden of an impossible debt.

When we get to the finish line, Mercy Corps will distribute the rickshaws to the most needy cases. The individual helping with this will report back on how the distribution is going and ensure everything is done in a transparent and proper fashion.

Mercy Corps is a highly respected and trustworthy international NGO, so one can rest assured that everything will be done in a transparent and legitimate fashion.

Mobile Creches Logo

Mumbai Mobile Creches was established in 1972 and is one of the oldest NGOs working with disadvantaged children in Mumbai. The mission of Mumbai Mobile Creches is to provide safety, education, and healthcare for the children of poor, migrant construction workers. The construction industry in Mumbai is enormous and employs some 1,000,000 construction workers, typically rural migrants who have come to Mumbai to escape rural poverty. There are estimated to be some 80,000 – 100,000 children living on construction sites with their families, most of which have never seen the inside of a school.

Mumbai Mobile Creches, in conjunction with builders and local government, run childcare centres and informal schools on 22 construction sites throughout Mumbai, reaching out to over 4,000 children each year. However, with over 80,000 children currently deprived of such basic services, there is still so much work to be done.

Benji is currently doing an internship for Mumbai Mobile Creches, and is raising money on their behalf.

Robbie is currently volunteering for Dasra, an NGO that seeks to improve the non-profit sector in India. We provide strategic planning, project planning, financial assistance, and capacity-building for dozens of partner NGO’s, many of them in Tamil Nadu working on tsunami rehabilitation. Dasra seeks to change the mindset of both NGO’s and the donors that fund them towards a more sustainable model of charity work in India.

ATMA Mumbai

Atma Mumbai is a foundation with a unique approach operating in Mumbai, India. Atma Mumbai partners with existing local educational organisations to strengthen their structure and improve the lives of thousands of underprivileged children.

The Atma Mumbai Foundation wishes to act next to the ‘cooperative consultancy’, as a facilitating body between charities and the funding world, with a clear vision – to strengthen capacity and self- sustainability through long term planning.

Rogier has been working with ATMA Mumbai for one month and so far has constructed a sports field at a boarding school in rural Maharashtra. Beyond this, he will also start a sports program for underprivileged children in Bombay; that is, if he makes it back from the Rickshaw Run in one piece!