Transport mobility should be basic need in the free market system, especially where resources and roads are scarce. In places like the African bush, quality of life depends upon affordable transportation. While in rural villages throughout the developing world there are women and children who walk miles to retrieve water, or patients traveling by foot for medical attention or food cultivation is slowed down without the power of a farming vehicle. In India, the country’s rural folk, who make up 70 percent of the population are often stuck using basic forms of transport such as cattle-drawn carts, sardine packed rickshaws and makeshift vehicles, which are known locally as jugaads.
Jugaads leaves passengers vulnerable on India’s treacherous roads. Figures from the Indian National Crime Records Bureau show that the death toll rose to 14 lives lost every hour in 2009, up from 13 in 2008. India accounts for about 10 percent of road traffic fatalities worldwide. In total, more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world. It is a man-made epidemic according to a government committee. This country loses three per cent of its GDP to road crashes every year and many of the deaths happen in rural areas. One study found that 70 per cent of families who lose their main wage earner in a traffic accident subsequently fall below the poverty line.
Now, a designer and manufacturer, EVOMO which has created the low cost Rural Utility Vehicle (RUV) aims to replace illegal and dangerous transportation contraptions like Jugaads and wants to be a disruptive intervention in providing transportation solution in rural areas around the world.
The RUV is a safer and more useful alternative to the jugaad. The vehicle has a proper braking system, headlights and a sturdy frame that can easily handle rough terrain. The RUV can also be manufactured locally, which creates job opportunities in rural areas. Poor transport is often the main restraint on economic progress and poverty reduction in rural areas. As rural transport provides access to labour markets and the opportunity to earn non-farm income.
Evomo isn’t the only company tackling rural transport as there is Mobius Motors and the Institute for Affordable Transportation who has pioneered similar designs. Both these organisations, like Evomo, are trying to popularise their vehicles in rural markets and are coming up with a simple solution that not only changes lives but saves lives…bridging the gap between vitals services and people in need.
Photo Credit: EMOVO Website
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