We recently reported that a team of Pakistani-American students was among the top 6 finalists at Hult Prize Finale that was held in New York at United Nation’s headquarters on September 16th and the big news is that the team — Roshni Rides — has turned out to be the winner of $1 Mn seed money for their idea of helping those people who can’t afford a dignified ride in their lives.
The theme of this year’s Hult Prize challenge was to support a social venture that is aimed to help restore the dignity and rights of people and societies that are facing hardships due to political unrest, social injustice, economic pressure, climatic challenge or war.
Refugees which Hult Foundation estimates to be 1 billion in number around the world are the people who should be facilitated. Among all the chaos that engulfs the world, the true unity lies in helping those who cannot afford to help themselves.
The inspiring idea of the Pakistani-American students relays that message that under the guise of social status, ethnicity, the color of our skin, we are all the same, who are trying to make something of our lives.
The Idea behind Roshni Rides
Roshni Rides, conceived by a team of Pakistani-American students of Rutgers Business School is a public ridesharing service that makes use of electricity powered Rickshaws for keeping the operational cost minimal and affordable for the customers who will use reloadable Roshni cards for making fixed payments to these Rickshaws.
The idea popped when Najeeha Farooqi, Moneeb Mian, Hasan Usmani and Hanaa Lakhani of Rutgers School figured out that less privileged refugees of the South Asian region are unable to get the benefits out of opportunities owing to their inability of affording public transport for reaching offices, schools, hospitals, etc.
Hult Prize is the world’s largest competition of students that bring forth ideas for social good. It is a collaboration between the Hult International Business School and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) where the former US President Bill Clinton selects the challenge topic and also announces the winner of each year’s competition.
Nauman Azhar the head of JS Bank’s branchless banking division in Pakistan was also representing the nation at 2017 Hult Prize competition. He was included in the Hult Prize Family (Pakistan Chapter) as a mentor and advisor on account of his efforts in the field of digital financial services in Pakistan. Another Pakistani, Suffiyan Malik, Director at On Campus Programs was also representing a local team at the prestigious forum.