Funky autos grab eyeballs at Pune's rickshaw fashion show

Colourful roof, attractive seating arrangement, multi-utility accessories, services like laptop, DVD system, extinguishers, first aid boxes, among others, rickshaws from all over the state rocked the Auto-Rickshaw Fashion Show 2012, which was held yesterday at the Bharti Vidyapeeth.

The event was organised by Baba Shinde, president of Maharashtra Pravasi Mal Vahatuk Mahamanch.

“I used spare parts of Ford and Ambassador cars. I replaced the regular driving handle with a steering wheel,” said Sayed Dalal, a participant from Ghorpadi Peth, who modified his auto to resemble a sports car.

It was learnt that some of the participants had invested as high as Rs 2 lakh for modification of their vehicles.

Mahesh Khanekar, a rickshaw owner from Kothrud had installed a laptop, a TV and a DVD player in his vehicle. “My rickshaw is famous in our area. With the additional facilities, commuters can utilise their time during journey. Moreover, I don’t charge extra for these services,” said Khanekar.

Some of the most attractive vehicles that grabbed attention were tourist rickshaws from Kolhapur, as each one had a theme behind its decoration.

“I am inspired by Shivaji Maharaj’s bravery. I have glued pictures and information of famous forts of his on my auto. My vehicle is so famous in Kolhapur that tourists book it at least three to four days in advance,” said Deepak Powar, whose decoration comprised replicas of Panhala fort, swords, shields, and saffron flags.

For cricket aficionado, Aslam Shaikh, who bagged the top spot at the show, his love for the sport was his theme.

Shaikh decorated his vehicle with replicas of World Cups won by the Indian team and had placed posters of Sachin Tendulkar atop the vehicle’s roof.

“I have installed a couple of small TVs inside my vehicle so that passengers can watch matches during their journey. Also, I’ve decorated the space behind the passenger’s seat to resemble a stadium, so that commuters feel that they are watching a live match in a stadium,” said Shaikh. 

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