The film is set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeping in. The focus is on Tangawallahs who earn their living transporting people from place to place on Tangas(horse - carts). Their livelihood is threatened when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town,which he subsidizes heavily with the sole intention of first driving the Tangawallahs out of the down and then making profits. Dilip Kumar plays one of the Tangawallahs who petitions the landlord over this injustice.Then, Jeevan's character proposes a competition to decide which service is the best - The Bus or the Tanga? It is then decided that there will be a race between both the vehicles. The Bus driven mechanically and the Tanga driven by Dilip Kumar's character. If the Bus wins the race, the Tangawallahs would not complain further and if the Tanga wins, the Bus service would stop. This competition was a farce from the start itself since nobody could even dream that a horse cart could beat a machine operated bus. Dilip Kumar, however, accepts the challenge to everybody's surprise. His logic is that they would anyway be driven to starvation if the Bus Service continues. This race at least gives them an opportunity to try and do something. However, the rest of the Tangawallahs do not share his hope. They blame him for his foolishness. In the end, he is left alone with nobody's support except his sweetheart, played by Vyjyanti Mala. As the movie unravels,a hopeless situation begins to turn around because of the way the people come together. Mishap after mishap occurs but nothing can deter the determined. The highlight of the film is definitely the heart stopping final race where the underdog wins and how?