Cambodian PM launches cyclo foundation hinh anh 1Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen (1st L) is greeted by cyclo drivers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on January 13, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)

Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on January 14 hosted a meeting with 308 cyclo drivers for the first time and launched a Cyclo Foundation.

Cyclo is a three-wheeled bicycle-propelled rickshaw that the driver perches on high above the rear wheel, and the passengers in a bucket seat slung between the two front wheels.

It used to be a popular means of transport during the French colonial rule about a century ago in Cambodia, but it's now on the brink of disappearance since people have chosen to travel by other modern and faster means such as taxi and motorized rickshaws.

The PM encouraged local authorities to pay attention to conserving cyclos and called on tourists and passengers to ride them, saying that riding cyclos would help reduce environmental pollution.

In history, late King Norodom Sihanouk, when he ruled the country, considered cyclos as a Cambodia's national identity and called for cyclo conservation, he said. 

Previously, there were more than 10,000 cyclos, now the number has dropped to more than 300, noted the PM.

Meanwhile, he launched the Cyclo Foundation to support cyclo operators and he made the first donation of 125,000 USD to the foundation and pledged another 240,000 USD every year.

All cyclo drivers would receive 7,000 riel (1.75 USD) a day from the foundation, he said, adding that they would also receive free medical checkups and treatment at all State hospitals, he suggested.-VNA