Miserable Life of a Driver

Miserable Life of a Driver
A commercial driver lives a miserable life. His is a thankless and dead-end career with zero possibility of upward mobility.

Late Prof. C.K. Prahalad defined BoP – Bottom of Pyramid – as the underbelly of any city bustling, thriving, creaking but invisible to the bourgeois and the elite yet managing to keep the city afloat. It is the dark underbelly that the urban India despises yet no city can do without.

Drivers of commercial vehicles such as auto, taxi, e-rickshaw, bus, truck, etc. numbering 20 million belong here.

In a city like Delhi, a typical driver and his family of 5 live on a rented single storey 25 square yard plot in an unauthorised colony. His children go to government school, the sick in the family go to government hospital, he has no savings, and has no social security. He works 7 days a week and his family has no social life other than the poorly organised weddings or Jagran invitations. Highhandedness at the hands of police and humiliation by officials is written in their destiny.

Such a life without hope is made more onerous by the pain on professional front. Drivers lack unity, therefore, they have no voice before the authorities or in society, making them easy prey to corruption and an exploitative regime. As unorganised self-employed workers in a high-risk profession, they have no security net, no insurance, no pension and nothing to fall back on when a calamity, old age or a health issue strikes.

His children are too embarrassed to disclose their father’s work. “He is in transport line” is what they say when queried during job interviews.

So, drivers are condemned to live a life nobody will wish for themselves. Or would you?

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