A Three Wheeled Revolution

 In an interview given to Sujatha Ramprasad, Irfan Alam shares his story of starting SammaaN Foundation.  It is a company that organizes rikshaw pullers of Bihar and some neighboring states.  

Although entrepreneurship was in his blood, this social entrepreneurship venture started from his experience when he was 17 years old.  In the middle of a journey by a rikshaw he realized that the income of the rikshaw pullers can be increased by selling water bottles and other goodies.  

Having the backing of an organization was helpful to the rikshaw pullers.  It helped them to get credit and own their rikshaws.  So the social entrepreneurship venture became a great success.  Gaining the trust of the members, Alam was able to increase their income by 30 to 40 per cent.  

Irfan Alam's efforts to empower those at the bottom of the social hierarchy have been recognized widely.  Former US President, Barack Obama complimented him with the words "You are doing a tougher job than me."

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