Pope Francis’ Fiat has got nothing on the Mexican ambassador to India’s new ride.
Eschewing the plush luxury cars and SUVs favored by most ambassadors around, Mexican ambassador Melba Pria rolls around Delhi in a custom-designed rickshaw because it is "the most efficient means of transport," she said.
The three-wheeled machine – a staple form of transport in many parts of India – runs on compressed natural gas. It was bought in India and then spray-painted in floral designs before placing a Mexican flag on it and diplomatic license plates.
“The attention it has received has made it a fun and creative way to promote Mexico and its artistry. Some people get worried about security, but millions of Indians use auto-rickshaws everyday so why should I be any different?" Pria said in a statement. "I think Delhiites have had positive reactions to this rickshaw, as it pays homage to the Indian cultural tradition.”
Les presento una toma de la intervención realizada al rickshaw oficial de la Embajada de México en India, esta vez asistimos a la Universidad Jamia Millia Islamia en la División de Artes, muy agradable poder compartir unos momentos con los estudiantes.Gracias especiales a la Embajada de México en India - Embassy of Mexico in India por el apoyo recibido.Here the intervention to the official rickshaw of the Embassy of Mexico in India , this time we attended the Jamia Millia Islamia University in the Division of Arts, very nice to share a few moments with students.
Posted by SENKOE on Monday, March 7, 2016
The rickshaw was designed by Mexican artist Senkoe, who participated in the Delhi Street Art Festival this February.
"In Delhi there are certain rules for three wheelers and incidents have happened before. I had tried to enter Parliament in the autorickshaw,” Pria said in her statement. “I understand that people are used to seeing autorickshaws as transports for hire and not as a private vehicles but it has not been a real problem at all so far. I just hope that with time people will increasingly realize that there are some benefits about this type of vehicle as it is more compact and less polluting.”
Pria does not however drive the rickshaw around Delhi’s infamous traffic. That duty falls on embassy employee Rajendra Kumar, who has been shuttling Pria to meetings and function since last month.
It hasn’t been all easy riding for the rickshaw though.
When Pria and her ride showed up at a speaking engagement on public transport, she was barred from parking her rickshaw because the parking spaces were purportedly made for cars. The snafu was quickly fixed, however, and Pria said she harbors no hard feelings.