‘Auto-rickshaw diplomacy’: US diplomats avoid flamboyant cars, try three-wheelers for work; watch video IG News

New Delhi: Four US female diplomats are driving ‘auto-rickshaws’ to work in New Delhi

Ann L. Mason, Ruth Holmberg, Sharyn J. Kitterman, and Jennifer Bywaters prefer to drive themselves to their black and pink tricycles for all of their work, including ‘official trips’.

These diplomats have resorted to the movement of common man not only for entertainment but also to set an example.

Speaking to ANI, the diplomats shared their experience of learning this distinctive mode of transport and how diplomats driving auto-rickshaws are a rare exception!

“From Detroit to my auto rickshaw, I have had a lifelong love of vehicles and so everywhere I have been there has been something special about a vehicle, but none more special than an autorickshaw in my opinion. Before, I was into armored vehicles and they were big, beautiful vehicles. But I always looked out on the road and I saw autorickshaws going by and I always wanted to be in an autorickshaw. So when I came to India and wanted to buy one When the opportunity came, I took it immediately,” N L Mason told ANI.

“For me it was terrifying. Yes, learning to drive an autorickshaw was completely new to me. I have never driven a vehicle with a clutch, never driven a motorcycle only automatic cars, in my entire life,” she said when this Asked how difficult it was to learn, maintain autos and get a license.

When asked about her inspiration behind the idea, Ann said that her mother is her inspiration who inspired her to take risks and experiment in life.

“My inspiration is my mother, my mother always took risks. She traveled around the world, was in the Vietnam War and went through a lot in her life. Life and it always taught me to do interesting things and take a chance because one you may not get a second chance and second you never know what you might experience. My daughter also drives an autorickshaw and so every day learns interesting things from them about how they see the world.”

His personal black autorickshaw has a Bluetooth device and a curtain with the image of a tiger. He has taken special care to personalize his autorickshaw, nicknamed KITT, in homage to the 1980s show “Knight Rider”.

Sharin J Kitterman, who was born in the south Indian state of Karnataka and holds US citizenship, showed off her pink autorickshaw with flower magnets, saying she was inspired by the Mexican ambassador, who also had an auto with a driver. He has also tied colorful pendants on both sides of his auto and pasted the flags of USA and India near the windshield.

“When I was planning to come to New Delhi in the US, I had heard about the Mexican ambassador. Ten years back, he had an auto and he had a driver. That’s when I started thinking about it. When I came here, I saw Ann who had an auto, so when I have an auto, I want to drive it. So, that was my whole goal,” said Sharin.

The Mexican ambassador Melba Pria was the one who started the trend when she made a white rickshaw her official vehicle.

Asked about the celebration of 75 years of relationship between the two countries and how she sees herself bridging the gap, Sharin said she understands the Indian and American ways of doing things and the embassy is a- Respect other’s culture.

“It is truly an honor to be able to serve my adopted country in the country of my birth. All my experiences have come from growing up in India and then being an immigrant in America and then becoming a diplomat and becoming a diplomat. All are different experiences that I feel I bring to my personal and professional life. I get involved in a lot of projects because I feel I can really build that bridge. I love the Indian way of thinking and doing things. way, and I understand the American way as well. So, one of the simple things I’ve done at the embassy is there’s a lot of business notices, management notices used to be published only in English and now we’re in English and Hindi We publish in both. I think this is my way, and our embassy’s way of showing respect for the local staff as well as the culture and language in the host country,” said Sharin.

Seeing the hustle and bustle of the city, Ruth Holmberg takes her ‘black beauty’ to the market and meets people in what she describes as her method of ‘diplomacy’.

“I really enjoy driving autos and I love it when other women see that I drive it and I love that they see the potential in themselves. Diplomacy is not that high level for me. Diplomacy is about meeting people, people getting to know each other, and getting a chance to build relationships and that’s what I can do with auto. I meet people every day. On my way to work, going to the market I know the vendors in my area and I know the people in the market..they are all excited to see me in the market with the auto. They come and introduce themselves and with that, I am face to face I can build relationships, and I think that’s a very important part of diplomacy,” Ruth Holmberg said from inside her Black Rec.

Talking about her travel experience, Jennifer Bywaters said that she got to see the good side of the people on the road who helped her and that you need to be brave enough to have fun and think out of the box.

“When I was in Delhi, I met Ann and after riding in her auto, I decided that I needed this vehicle too. I get to see the local perspective, more of the humanity. When I started driving an auto rickshaw some people helped me and hence I saw the good side of people in Delhi,” said Jennifer.

Addicted to the ride, she said the toughest part was navigating around other auto-rickshaws, but learning to drive was not difficult.

“Learning was not difficult. I am used to clutch ride, so that part was easy and the toughest part of driving in Delhi is navigating around animals, cycles and other auto-rickshaws. But I would say have fun and be brave! Think out of the box and you don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done.” (ANI)


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