Pakistani-American team awarded US$1 million to empower refugees in South Asia

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Pakistani-American students team Roshni Ride is one step closer to making their idea for confronting the global refugee crisis into reality. Roshni Ride team is from Rutgers University won the Hult Prize last week. Young entrepreneurs behind Roshni Rides had vision for future transportation to empower refugees overseas.

Last Saturday this team won the prestigious Hult Prize challenge and awarded with $1 million. To empower refugees overseas especially in South Asia. Roshni Ride wants to facilitate people with affordable and accessible transportation to urban people.

The Roshni Ride team is comprised of 4 team members including Hanaa Lakhani, Moneed Mian and Hasan Usmani, as well as CEO Gia Farooqi. This team plans to rearrange southern Pakistan which is Asia’s top host country of refugees. They use this reward money to start and give life to business as soon as possible. They intend to go back to the same place Orangi Town where they done field research in summers.

CEO Jia Farooqi, said that it’s a challenge for her team to focus refugees. There was a lot of news coverage surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis when it was announced last October, she noted.

Farooqi said after President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign it felt “very unsafe and almost uncomfortable” which focused on ban to Halt the entry of refugees and other citizens from Muslim nation into the United States.

The Hult Prize Foundation, a nonprofit organization for social enterprise. Last year presented students with its eighth annual goal-oriented contest: develop a startup venture to renovate the rights and nobility of 1 million refugees by 2022.

More than 50,000 applicants from 100 countries arose for this task, and judges selected six finalists after numerous stages of competition.

The final ceremony was hosted at United Nations headquarters in New York City. The Roshni Rides team present its proposal before a chamber of spectators, including a panel of eight judges.

This business model is a rickshaw shuttle service inspired by the New York subway system. The team aims to enhance prevailing transportation in South Asia, where transportation choices are limited. Facilitating people in local travel will also help to eradicate refugees’ barriers to accessing education and employment opportunities, the team members said.

Earlier President Bill Clinton, a Hult Prize partner announced that Roshni Rides is the winner of this year’s challenge. He further said that it is a solution to a public problem that will have a big impact”.

According to the latest U.N. data 65.5 million people have been displaced from their homes by force due to conflicts, natural disasters and other crises, this figure includes almost 22.5, million refugees.

As per estimates of this team, Roshni Rides will cost about 0.76 cents which is less than half of what rides cost now. Roshni Rides wants to use its $1 million prize to flourish its fleet to 1,200 rickshaws and create 1,600 local jobs.


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Published in: Volume 08 Issue 38

Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=18536