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Examining Vulnerabilities: the Cycle Rickshaw Pullers of Dhaka City

Wadood, Syed Naimul and Tehsum, Mostofa (2018): Examining Vulnerabilities: the Cycle Rickshaw Pullers of Dhaka City. Forthcoming in: International Journal of Development Research , Vol. 8, No. 1 (ISSN: 2230-9926) (30 January 2018)

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Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh, is one of the fastest growing cities of the world in terms of population concentration. Centrally located, it attracts a large number of job seeking migrants from the rural areas of entire Bangladesh on a continuous basis. Some of these job seeking migrants are readily absorbed in the urban informal service sector, which includes cycle rickshaw pulling. Cycle rickshaw pulling is arduous and stressful, with no promotion prospect or insurance for occupational hazards such as accident injuries, while entry is easy as education and training as well as capital asset requirement is minimal. In order to examine vulnerabilities of the rickshaw pullers, a structured questionnaire survey has been conducted on a total of 120 randomly selected cycle rickshaw pullers in five locations across the Dhaka city. The primary survey has examined their current living conditions, livelihood strategies, shocks and insurances against shocks. The respondents lacked education and skill training, did not own capital assets and mostly supported their families stationed in the rural areas with earnings from this cycle rickshaw pulling. Econometric models of OLS and probit regression have been utilized to examine a number of issues, and the results are expected. Most respondents were willing to educate their children and did not want to include them in this sector. There are potentials of entrepreneurship if they are skill trained, financed and advised properly. They are reported to be willing to improve their living conditions, which is difficult due to the vulnerabilities that they face.

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