TED Blog

New Delhi’s streets are epic — trucks, cars, cows and, especially, bicycle rickshaws, three-wheeled carriers that can zip through traffic, pedaled by a very, very hard-working driver. Growing up in New Delhi, Avani Singh passed them every day on her way to school. And her route also passed the city’s slums. In this city of 17 million, the New Delhi slums are zones of poverty that stretch for miles. To Avani as a young girl, they seemed just a part of the city, always there, unchanging. But as she grew older, it began to dawn on her: Not everyone had what she had. And she could help.

Meanwhile, she learned in the news about a new kind of bicycle rickshaw. Bright green and super futuristic, it was electric-powered, thanks to a solar panel on the roof. Which made it easier to pedal. Avani, then only 16 years old, had the…

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