Riding through the smog: A ‘roznamcha’ of ride-sourcing bike taxis


Riding through the smog: A ‘roznamcha’ of ride-sourcing bike taxis is based on research conducted by Ashique Ali Thuppilikkat, Dipsita Dhar, Priyank Chandra, and includes illustrations by Kadambari K.B. This comic strip was exhibited in the Knowledge Mobilization Project (2024) at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities project which underpins research with urban themes. It is based on an interview with a worker in New Delhi employed on a ride-sourcing digital labour platform. The comic strip highlights the impact of pollution on city-based unorganised workers, especially those who ride bike-taxis. The term ‘roznamcha’ in the title refers to an account of daily activities, and in this case the everyday labour of workers. 

The research blending illustrations and text attempts to prompt discussions on workers’ vulnerability to climate-related challenges like deteriorating air quality in the city. The protagonist of the comic is representative of the drivers who ride motorbike taxis and engage in gig work. The air pollution in New Delhi affects the protagonist and leads to headaches, eye and throat irritation, and fatigue. Sometimes these ailments worsen to graver lung or heart diseases. 

Though worker unions and policymakers have demanded better policies in this regard, the comic reveals that there is a dire need to structurally combat impact of pollution on workers. The comic invites readers to ride along with the worker in the city and witness his struggles. The hand-drawn and later digitalised comic strip has rectangular panels with broken straight lines and is predominantly black and white. The comic strip reminds us to advance the understanding of climate justice by linking it to labour dynamics.

Focus by Kadambari K.B.

PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


Ashique Ali Thuppilikkat, Dipsita Dhar, and Priyank Chandra

Artist: Kadambari.K.B


CCO Licensed


Mar, 2024