Workers reduced to hand-to-mouth existence at APMCs

Workers reduced  to hand-to-mouth existence at APMCs

Even as people stare at skyrocketing commodity prices, hundreds of workers dependent on goods transportation have been hit hard as the truckers’ strike entered the second week.

“I depend on daily wages to earn my bread. I usually earn around Rs 500 a day for working from early morning till late night. After the strike started, it has become a struggle to earn just Rs 100,” said P Mohan, who works at APMC yard in Yeshwantpur.

Hundreds of workers are running from one godown to another searching for jobs. Traders, however, plead helplessness stating that business has stopped as trucks carrying goods have not reached the yard.

An official in the APMC yard said on a regular day, the yard receives at least 50,000 bags, which has come down to 17,000 following the strike. “I have been working in the market for the last 30 years. Whenever there is a strike by goods transporters, we end up suffering. We can't help but finish the day with a single meal at home,” said Mohan, who has to care for his wife, two daughters and a son.

“She (my wife) earns Rs 5,000 at a factory and I usually earned around Rs 10,000. But without any work over the last five days, it is difficult to get Rs 100 a day. A cup of tea costs Rs 7 and a meal costs Rs 50. We are going home empty handed since we aren’t earning enough to meet our individual expenses,” he said.

Mohan, like hundreds of others, has come to the city in search of work. “My family stays in Mulbagal (Kolar). I have to send money for rent and other expenses. I don't know when the strike will end but I know that I won't be able to earn till it is called off,” he said.

With light goods carriers also joining the strike, those who carried materials from APMC yard to various parts of the city are also feeling the heat. “My daily earning stood at Rs 1,000. I am finding it hard to pay for diesel,” said V S Ravi, a goods vehicle driver.

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