Ayodhya, Feb 6 (ANI): Tongas (horse drawn carts) in Ayodhya may go into oblivion as the services offered by these eco-friendly modes of transport have been usurped by the faster diesel and petrol run vehicles like autorickshaws, tempos and cabs.
Consequently, the Tonga owners and operators have been deprived of their livelihood with hardly any earnings to fend for themselves, leave alone feeding the horses.
Tongas which were the most sought after mode of transportation until the early '60s, now face extinction.Both long and short distance commuters opt for autorickshaws (locally referred as Vikram after a particular model) and tempo taxis since these are larger and also faster.
Till two decades ago, the Tonga operators earned fairly well, ferrying the visitors to the city."I have been riding Tongas since I was an eight-year-old lad. Before me, my father used to ride. Previously, it was very good. Since the Vikram autorickshaws have come, we are facing innumerable problems," said Bagoti Prasad, a Tonga operator.
Tarannum, wife of a Tonga operator opined that owning and operating Tongas is no more a reliable profession to sustain a family."We are going through a tough phase. Sometimes they just earn 10 to 20 rupees. At times they don't get anything. With that we are not able to support our lives with such low earnings," said Tarannum.
With dim future ahead, many Tonga operators have been forced to work as manual labourers and porters to earn their daily bread since they are unaware of any other vocation.By Amit (ANI)