Udaysinh Ramanlal Jadav is an auto driver from Sabramati District in Ahmedabad. What makes his story inspiring is the selflessness service offered to the passengers who take a ride with him.
Udaysinh grew up in Ahmedabad with four sisters and two brothers. His father was an auto driver himself, and since he needed more assistance to support the large family, Udaysinh dropped out of class 10 to help out. He worked in an auto garage for three years where he earned a meagre Rs 1 for each car/auto wash.His brother, who was also an auto driver, taught Udaysinh to drive, and slowly Udaysinh made this his profession.
One day on his regular trips to the Gandhi Ashram, he saw volunteers of Manav Sadhna rendering selfless service to the needy. Inspired by their endeavor, he decided to follow the principles of the Father of the Nation in word and deed. Udaybhai started “Ahmedabad no Rickshawalo” on 21st October 2010, the auspicious day of Dushhera, with the concept of gift-economy in mind.
The idea behind gift-economy is that someone before you has paid for your travel; now you have to pay-it-forward for the subsequent passengers. Udaybhai, after every trip, provides the passenger with a self-written greeting card-cum-envelope in which the passenger will place the amount of his/her choice
To make the journey of his customers comfortable,” Amdavad no Rickshawalo “as he likes to call himself, has provided for a mini library in the auto, with books on heritage, on tourist places of visit in the city, pilgrimage sites in the state, besides English and Gujarati newspapers. An MP3 player will provide you with a choice of songs to listen to and there’s a small fan for the summer months. If you are hungry, there are two boxes containing snacks and drinking water. A dustbin to throw the remains has also been provided in the auto. If the journey at night is long, he has installed a portable light for your reading pleasure.
The exterior of the auto also attracts attention. On the front is painted, ‘Love all’, while the mudguard displays the religious symbols of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities, which Udhaybhai says “is to convey the message of secularism”. On the side he has hung a board that says in Hindi and English, “Namaste and welcome to Ahmedabad. I am Udhay, at your service. I will take you on a journey of Ahmedabad’s streets and across its bustling bridges to experience Gandhi’s legacy and architectural masterpieces…” The message ends with his mobile number and website name: http://www.movedbylove.org.
When Udaysinh started his gift-economy auto, he was well aware of the fact that he would have to run his household with whatever money was left at the end of the day in his envelope.“My father and wife wished that I stopped this ‘Gandhigiri’,” he recalls.
Some would pay Rs 5 and some would pay Rs 50 – there was no predicting the income, and adding to this instability, Udaysinh would not only refuse money from disabled, poor, and elderly people, but he would also add Rs 1 from his first earnings of the day to his Akshay Patra box, which he would give away to charity.
When asked if this selflessness was ever financially crippling, he responds pragmatically,
If I wake up every morning thinking, ‘mera kya hoga?’ (What will happen to me?), then nothing will ever happen. If you’re doing some work and there are no challenges, will that even count as useful work? The only thing that matters is your attitude.
This attitude was, however, briefly shaken when he couldn’t pay his son’s school fees, following which his son’s results were withheld. “That day, I really thought a lot about what I do,” he recalls. After consoling his devastated boy, Udaysinh requested the school principal for an extension and with some difficulty, paid the fees.
“Things like this happen sometimes,” he says, his grief-laden voice trailing off before he finds his strength again. “Bas haar nahi manta, kabhi nahi (I don’t give up, ever).”
He received awards such as Red FM’s Bade Dilwale, the Rotary award, and Baroda management award.Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Chetan Bhagat have flown to Ahmedabad just to meet him. He gets invited to schools and even to entrepreneur meets to talk about his efforts and motivate them.
To make journey more friendly he purchased a mini size van and named it as Sabarmati no Saarthi.This too will be run on the concept of gift economy.To help Uday Bhai for Continuing his free services donate him by clicking on Here
Watch his story here