An HT reader, Anil Vinayak, from Amritsar, saw a rickshaw puller, Baldev Kumar , roaming within the scorching sun, desperately trying to find a passenger. Vinayak decided to require a joy ride in the rickshaw, just so as to assist the man without embarrassing him. The incident led to an unlikely camaraderie involving the two. “When I signalled him to stop, a grin lit up his face. A 10-minute joyride compensated by Rs 50 made his day,” shares Vinayak.
Numerous rickshaw pullers, house-helps, daily wage labourers and other informal workers were left within the lurch, as the government imposed the lockdown in the wake in the coronavirus scare.
Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the usa, had once said, “The host to labour is next to each other with the businessman and the farmer – and not one degree lower.”
But it’s tragic that these particular labourers and daily wage workers happen to be living on the margins in big cities, earning a tad bit more than what they could have earned with their home towns, somehow surviving in dilapidated conditions. Most of them have insecure jobs within the informal sector and are never accorded any dignity for work.
Vinayak says, “All of us have already been feeling the pressure of your lockdown and those daily wagers have been hit the most difficult. We have seen Baldev Kumar often while he waits with his rickshaw in our vicinity. They have catered to more and more people at so many points. Some of us decide to disregard the plight of such workers because we believe we cannot do much to help make an impact within their lives. With a personal level, the least we is capable of doing as individuals is usually to consciously acknowledge the dignity of labour. We must break up the social hierarchies that we have recognise and internalised the necessity of all work.”
Vinayak shares that Kumar shared our story published on May 21 along with his friends and other rickshaw pullers.”He was on cloud nine with as he saw his picture in the newspaper. This content led vegetable vendors in my locality looking for their stories to get published too, to ensure even their good work reaches to your larger audience! .”
Just a little appreciation post by Anil and HT made Kumar so happy.