38-year-old Sandeep Bacche has been driving an auto in Mumbai for the last 16 years. But what sets him apart from other auto rickshaw drivers is his passion for work and his large heartedness.
First let’s talk about his autorickshaw. The moment you step into his auto, you’d realise that is nothing ordinary as he has fitted his vehicle with a host of comforts which can turn any ordinary ride into one memorable experience.
Bacche’s auto rickshaw is a riot of colors. It is well upholstered, fitted with well cushioned seats and sports an LCD screen, a newspaper stand, STD PCO, mobile charging facility and safety facilities such as a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and water bottle.
You can pick paper tissues from a dispenser at the rear of your seat, and even candy if you put money in the donation box. You can also drink tea for Rs 5. He will even recharge your phone balance and also keeps every network provider’s recharge slips.
If you’ve forgot to carry your mobile phone charger then don’t worry, he has one. He even offers services of an STD PCO at Rs 1 per call to those who have left their phones behind.
If you’re worried what would be the weather outside then Bacche writes down the day’s weather forecast, and stock market updates on a board in the auto. You’ll also find the day’s newspapers available to you for reading.
Wait, it’s not over yet.
Trying to change the world one step at a time, he has decorated his auto with posters that offer great advice like, ‘Save Girl Child First’, and ‘Stop Pollution’. He also writes out birthday wishes for celebrities.
There’s hundreds of photos and stickers in the rickshaw, testimony to his various news interviews, his pictures with celebrities, his speeches at events and one from the TED talk he gave.
On a board in his auto, Bacche also mentions that the elderly, handicapped, and newly married couples can ride the auto for half the rate. And there’s even a small donation box. All the donations made in Sandeep’s auto go to cancer relief.
He gives Rs 2 from each fare he gets to charity and provides medicines to the needy.
He gives free rides to people who have kidney disease or cancer, to the blind, and to everyone on his birthday (December 31) and Gandhi Jayanti (October 2).
With a first aid box installed in his rickshaw, Sandeep also dresses the wounds of people hurt on the road.
A sign on his auto says: “Any problem, call Munnabhai SSC.” He is a huge fan of Sanjay Dutt and his film Munnabhai MBBS, and has cleared his SSC board exam, hence the name.
Sandeep got the idea of running a fully loaded auto rickshaw after he came across a bus which was well equipped with luxuries like a TV set and WiFi connection.
He can be found in Bandra usually, though not exclusively.