“Let’s reinvent the Tonga and put them back on the Streets of Delhi”
Vol 2 | Issue 32
Responding to The Weekend Leader’s appeal to readers to send in ideas to rehabilitate Delhi’s tongawallas, Swagat Sen from Noida has sent a lovely suggestion. We welcome more ideas. Editor
I am writing in reply to the article on Tongawallahs. In my opinion, this is a classic example of myopia toward an opportunity. If we see the tongawallahs as an opportunity instead of as a nuisance, then we have the solution.
Imagine a new age Tonga. It is fitted with plush seats, beautiful and ornate decoration in traditional artistic styles showcasing Indian artisanship, has a snacks man with a menu card and comes with a laptop with internet connection. It is also a branded Tonga, carrying advertisements.
While taking joyride on this Tonga through heritage routes in Old Delhi, you can take your own picture with a digital camera (perhaps attached to a Tablet PC) and send it via twitter to your friends worldwide.
With each picture you can send a digital interactive map of Old Delhi and its fast fading heritage treasures. You can buy and send socially networked digital postcards which will inform, entertain and bring to light our country's priceless architectural masterpieces, now rotting by the roadside.
If you are a tourist from another country, you get tourism brochures and maps, details of online information, samples of things you can buy etc.
In other words, these Tongawallahs offer a great tourism and business opportunity, and we should view them through quite the opposite lens than the one held by the "authorities."