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Hit hard by Covid, railway porters seek help

Nitish Sharma

Press Reporter News Service

Ambala, Could 30

Carrying ‘crimson shirts’ and badges on arms, some younger and middle-aged railway porters may be seen sitting in batches in wait to elevate the baggage of railway passengers on the Ambala Cantonment railway station. Fewer trains, lesser footfall and Covid scare have left the porters struggling for livelihood.

As per info, there are 170 licensed railway porters on the Cantonment railway station however hardly 80 flip up as there was little work. The porters say that final 12 months totally different organisations had come ahead to offer ration however this 12 months nobody has prolonged a serving to hand, up to now.

“I’ve been working as a railway porter for the previous 11 years right here. Earlier, we used to earn Rs 400-500 a day however now, we hardly earn Rs 100-200 a day. For the reason that variety of trains and passengers have dropped drastically because of journey restrictions and the lockdown, typically we even return dwelling empty handed. A number of folks have began promoting greens and dealing as labourers. We’re simply hoping for the scenario to enhance, stated Jai Prakash (40), a railway porter on the Ambala Cantonment railway station.

Mahender Kumar, one other porter, stated “Porters have been amongst those that misplaced their livelihood when the journey restrictions have been imposed final 12 months. The trains got here to a halt and there have been no passengers who wanted us to hold their baggage. The Northern Railway Girls Welfare Organisation had additionally helped us by offering ration kits. Issues started to enhance a couple of months again however now once more with restricted trains and fewer passengers, we’re struggling. Most of us are with none work. Moreover assembly day by day wants, different bills resembling faculty charges of youngsters and reimbursement of loans have been making issues tough.”

Chetram, president of the Railway Coolie Union Ambala Cantonment, stated, “There are 170 licensed porters however presently solely 80 are working in two shifts. Final 12 months, a number of organistions had prolonged a serving to hand to us within the type of offering ration kits however this 12 months nobody has come ahead. We are able to solely request the railway authorities to come back ahead and assist the porters as we’re additionally a part of The Railways. The authorities ought to announce some monetary help for the porters.”

Divisional Railway Supervisor Ambala Division GM Singh stated he would request the Northern Railway Girls Welfare Organisation (NRWWO) to assist the households of porters. 

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