‘But I have an ishtereo, sir’

Many countryside lorry drivers, like the one steering this vehicle in Koraput, act as freelance cabbies when the malik is not looking

August 5, 2021 | P. Sainath

In Anantapur: tales told by saddlebags
• Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

In Anantapur: tales told by saddlebags

The sale of rexine motorbike saddlebags in this Andhra Pradesh town can be a fine predictor of poll results

August 3, 2021 | Rahul M.

Panvel to MP: Four days and nights on a scooter

Bimlesh Jaiswal, who lost one leg in an accident some years ago, travelled 1,200 kms during the lockdown from Panvel, Maharashtra, to Rewa, MP, on a gearless scooter, with his wife and three-year-old daughter

May 23, 2020 | Parth M.N.
The great Indian straw trick
• Krishna, Andhra Pradesh

The great Indian straw trick

In journeys along rural Indian roads, you sometimes run into the delightfully bizarre

March 19, 2020 | P. Sainath

Ganpati Yadav’s gripping life cycle

He’s a freedom fighter, a farmer, a family man – and a cyclist extraordinary at the age of 97. Meeting Ganpati Bala Yadav recently in Maharashtra’s Sangli district was a deeply satisfying and moving experience

September 3, 2018 | P. Sainath

Make in India – with bamboos and leaves

Farmers, labourers and shepherds in rural Odisha wear delicately woven ‘rain hats’ while working. Made by Adivasis, they’re sold by small vendors, who carry them on bicycles across long distances

July 6, 2017 | P. Sainath

Karimul’s medical motorcycle diaries

A tea garden worker in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal runs a unique ‘bike ambulance’ free of cost for villagers, and he was recently awarded the Padma Shri

February 10, 2017 | Souryajit Nath & Arindam Bachar & Debannita Biswas
Dhol on wheels
• Birbhum, West Bengal

Dhol on wheels

Srilal Sahani is a fish-seller by day and an extraordinary musician by evening – he rides hands-off on a bicycle while playing a dhol and cymbals behind him – in Santiniketan, West Bengal

December 22, 2016 | Sinchita Maji
Prasanna's home is his rickshaw
and • Raipur, Chhattisgarh

Prasanna's home is his rickshaw

Welfare measures have provided some security to families in Sanmaheswar village of Odisha, but done little to stop Prasanna Sabar and many others from migrating to the cities

July 29, 2016 | Purusottam Thakur

Small farmer, big heart, miracle bike

Chandra Subramanian is a single mom, cultivator and retailer in Sivagangai district, Tamil Nadu

March 7, 2016 | Aparna Karthikeyan
Where there is a wheel
• Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu

Where there is a wheel

The women’s cycling movement in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu is a powerful metaphor for freedom

September 5, 2015 | P. Sainath

Recycling energy, Godda style

Koilawallahs cart quintals of scavenged coal from mining dumps on their modified bicycles to Godda. For this strenuous three-day walk, they earn barely a third of the minimum wage for manual labour in Bihar

August 5, 2015 | P. Sainath
Biswas and the bamboos on his bike
• West Tripura, Tripura

Biswas and the bamboos on his bike

Ratan Biswas pushes a bicycle mounted with five bamboos weighing roughly 200 kilos across 17 kilometres

February 6, 2015 | P. Sainath
Wheels of the rural Indian West
• Jūnāgadh, Gujarat

Wheels of the rural Indian West

The 'chakada' is part motorcycle, part cart – a patchwork product that's indispensable to rural Saurashtra. A photo essay

January 26, 2015 | Gurpreet Singh
The koilawallahs of Godda
P. Sainath • Godda, Jharkhand

The koilawallahs of Godda

Album: Recycling energy takes cycles and lots of energy

July 4, 2013 | P. Sainath