Pakistani-American students win $1 million Hult Prize for 'Roshni Rides' startup

Haider Ali 01:02 PM | 20 Sep, 2017
Pakistani-American students win $1 million Hult Prize for 'Roshni Rides' startup
NEW YORK - Four Pakistani-American students won the top student competition Hult Prize in the US on Saturday for their social start-up, ‘Roshni Rides’, envisioning a transport network for refugees.

The team of Roshni Rides comprises recent Rutgers University graduates Hanaa Lakhani, Hasan Usmani, Moneed Mian, and CEO Gia Farooqi, who is currently enrolled at Rutgers.

The students teamed up earlier this year to launch a solar-powered rickshaw transport system named Roshni Rides to connect refugees with critical spots of employment, hospitals, schools and markets places.

The idea sounded strange, however, the team made around $30,000 in a crowd funding campaign in May and then in the summer ran a pilot project in Karachi’s Orangi Town.

For the international Hult Prize competition which is dubbed as the Nobel Prize for students, Roshni Rides was pitched against five other groups from across the world after shortlisting but it won the coveted $1 million in seed money from the Hult Foundation.

Former US President Bill Clinton, a key Hult Prize partner, declared Roshni Rides the winner of this year’s challenge held at United Nations headquarters in New York City.

“This is a private solution to a public problem that will have a big impact,” he said.

 Dean of Rutgers Business School, Lei Lei described the team’s win as a great accomplishment and a reflection of the 'Rutgers' values.

"We are thrilled by their performance, and we will continue to cheer them on as they build Roshni Rides into a global venture," she said.

The Roshni Rides team member Farooqi feared being a Muslim and living in Trump's America, however, participating in the Hult Prize challenge offered her a platform to represent the team on a global stage following which she said “America is diverse”.

The tech-savvy students also documented their progress on Facebook ever since they launched their project.

All four team members plan to relocate to Pakistan, where the team will spend the first two months piloting the business in the far-off Orangi Town area of Karachi where an estimated 2.4 million people live.

Interestingly, the idea was inspired by Barkat Ali, a former resident of Orangi and family member of one of the team members.

Haider Ali

The writer is a civil servant.


KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 02, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 271.1 271.6
Euro EUR 298.27 298.87
UK Pound Sterling GBP 335.5 336.2
U.A.E Dirham AED 73.03 73.33
Saudi Riyal SAR 71.49 71.80
Australian Dollar AUD 188.9 191.3
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.73 720.73
Canadian Dollar CAD 200.95 203.15
China Yuan CNY 39.67 40.07
Danish Krone DKK 39.11 39.51
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 877.76 886.76
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.76 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.3

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs207,100 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,670.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs164,500 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 179,100.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Karachi PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Islamabad PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Peshawar PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Quetta PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Sialkot PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Attock PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Gujranwala PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Jehlum PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Multan PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Bahawalpur PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Gujrat PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Nawabshah PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Chakwal PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Hyderabad PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Nowshehra PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Sargodha PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Faisalabad PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420
Mirpur PKR 207,100 PKR 2,420


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