US citizen Joy Jauer,28,was an unusual visitor at Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadavs Janata Darshan programme at his official residence in Lucknow today. However,after a four-hour-long wait in the queue,she failed to meet Akhilesh and returned to Varanasi disappointed.
Joy,senior finance manager of Varanasi-based SMV Wheels Pvt Limited,wanted the chief minister to hear her suggestions on improving the condition of rickshaw pullers across the state.
My company works to empower rickshaw pullers. I have been staying in Varanasi for the past seven months. During the campaign for Assembly polls,I read in newspapers about the concerns former CM Mulayam Singh Yadav had expressed for rickshaw pullers. So I planned to meet Akhilesh at his Janata Darshan programme, Joy told The Indian Express.
Joy took the bus from Varanasi to Lucknow four days ago. I could not find a better way than Janata Darshan to come face to face with the CM. So,I joined the queue around 9 am. By the time I reached the doorstep of the CMs house,I was told that Akhilesh had gone for lunch. It was around 12 noon.
She said Lucknow DM Anurag Yadav had taken her telephone number. I am told that Urban Development Minister Azam Khan will meet me soon. I am waiting for a telephone call from Khans office.
This was the second Janata Darshan after Akhilesh assumed charge as chief minister. A large number of people turned up to share their problems with the CM. Inside a hall in his residence,Akhilesh met almost every visitor one by one and collected their application.
Sources in the chief ministers office said Akhilesh is concerned about disposal of each application. We have a plan to send applications that are supposed to be dealt with at the DM level to the divisional commissioners concerned. All applications are fed in the computer. Grievances that are to be solved at headquarters level will be sent to the principal secretaries concerned, a source said.
Joy is in no mood to give up her efforts to talk to the state government. If I dont get a call from Khans office,I will go to Janata Darshan again, she said.
SMV Wheels Pvt Limited was started by Navin Krishna in Varanasi. My company works in collaboration with US-based companies K L Felicitas and First Light Venture. Joy is from Texas. She represents the partners of my company, Navin told The Indian Express from Varanasi. SMV provides well-designed rickshaw to pullers in groups of five. One rickshaw costs us Rs 12,000, he said.
According to him,repayments are collected on a weekly basis which include the cost of rickshaw,accidental insurance premium,license and uniform. A rickshaw puller is supposed to repay Rs 250 every week. Thus he becomes owner of his rickshaw within 13 months, Navin explained.
Navin said there is no data regarding the number of rickshaw pullers in any city. No local bodies keep such data, he said.