"Lack of transportation robs refugees of their dignity and ability to be self-sufficient," said Gia Farooqi in CNN

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Date: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Location: 
New York, NY

CNN

For millions of displaced refugees living in camps, the ability to survive and rebuild their lives often depends on transportation.

Without it, refugee families are unable to get to hospitals, send children to schools, go to local job centers, even shop for food and everyday necessities.

"Lack of transportation robs refugees of their dignity and ability to be self-sufficient," said Gia Farooqi, co-founder of Roshni Rides.

Roshni Rides, a startup launched by four students at Rutgers Business School, studied the problem and created a solution: a rickshaw transportation network that works like a ride-sharing shuttle service.

The rickshaws take passengers on preset routes to important destinations like hospitals, schools and markets.

Roshni Rides, a ride-sharing rickshaw service for refugees won the $1 million Hult Prize startup contest.

Passengers pay using pre-loaded cards, similar to the New York City subway system, said Farooqi.

The concept was presented on Saturday the annual Hult Prize competition, which challenges college students to tackle global problems.

Roshni Rides -- founded by undergraduate business students Gia Farooqi, Hasan Usmani, Moneeb Mian, and Hanaa Lakhani -- beat out five other startup finalists and earned $1 million in funding. The startup was one of 50,000 entries, up from 25,000 submissions last year.

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TAGS: Case Competition Entrepreneurship HULT Social Entrepreneurship