All Aboard the Happiness Rickshaw


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Chandrika Tandon, Kavita Lund & Sagorica Rudraat CHI Gala

Lavina Melwani, Chandrika Tandon, Kavita Lund & Sagorica Rudra

All Aboard the Happiness Rickshaw!

If you rode in the Happiness Rickshaw, you would have noticed that a strange thing happened – you started smiling – and did actually feel happy! This was the experience of all those who came to the Children’s Hope Gala and sat in the Happiness Rickshaw which was parked in the midst of the celebratory evening at Pier Sixty to mark the 25th year of Children’s Hope service to under-served children. I’m no seer so I can’t guarantee happiness forever but for the few moments you sat in this audacious little New York pedicab which was decked up in Indian wedding finery, you were bound to smile.

In reality this little rickshaw underwent a Cinderella-like transformation, going from a rough and tough plain New York pedicab and metamorphed  into a colorful butterfly adorned with a glorious wedding umbrella, flowers and drapes, ready to engage with 500 guests for a photo opp!  The next day the rickshaw didn’t quite turn into a pumpkin but having done its joyous performance act, changed back into an ordinary  NYC pedicab which probably hauled tourists around Time Square all day!

But for one magnificent evening,Revolution Rickshaw (its true street name) was the belle of the ball, and the most delightful thing about the Happiness Rickshaw was its ability to generate smiles, laughter and togetherness. All those who sat on it or posed near it went on to spread the happiness – they bid on CHI projects for education, wrote checks for school buses and playgrounds in a new girl’s school – The Children’s Hope Girl’s Academy, which is arising in Bhopal –  a dream in brick and mortar. Others showed their support for children by donating to the education fund or bidding on silent auction items. Yet others shared their talents and volunteered for something larger than their own lives.

The Happiness Factor was magnified many times over, ricocheting from New York to New Delhi and beyond, affecting lives of vulnerable children continents away in India.

Happiness is indeed contagious – the more you spread it, the more you give away – the more you have!


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

1 Comment

  1. S. Kaul via LinkedIn on

    S. Kaul via LinkedIn

    Creative, thought-provoking Happiness Rickshaw, led to inner happiness .