Mehmood Khan’s story is the story of 500-600 porters who work at Nizamuddin Railway Station
Ever wondered how much porters who carry your luggage at railway stations earn? Well, one porter at Nizamuddin Railway Station, Mehmood Khan, says he used to earn Rs 5,000 per month before Covid-19 restrictions led to a shutdown of all transport. That too after working for 22 years.
During lockdowns, Khan went back to his village, thinking he could earn some money by doing odd jobs. But there was no work, nor did any employer have the means to pay for work. Now he is back at work but his earnings are meagre.
Khan has three dependents: his wife, two daughters and a younger brother, Yusuf, who is handicapped. He says his family never slept hungry before the pandemic but during the first four-month lockdown, the family was devastated. His wife died due to Covid-19, his daughters were thrown out of school for non-payment of fees, and Yusuf’s condition worsened due to lack of treatment until he too died.
In his anguish, he has two questions for the government: Does it not know that there are millions of people who depend on daily earnings in order to pay for their meals? “The government should have made some arrangement for porters when it was ordering restrictions,” he says. And what happened to the Rs 2,000 the government promised to those with labour cards?
(This report was written during an internship with Patriot)
For more stories that cover the ongoings of Delhi NCR, follow us on: