KUNAL CHATTERJEE, Kolkata: Ramesh Sardar never thought one day he would have to leave the steering wheel and slice fish. But the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus has forced Sardar to change his profession.
Sardar, a driver of SD4 bus, has started to sell fish at the bus stand. His hands are not yet trained to cut perfect slices. Therefore, he has employed Tarak Singh, a conductor as his assistant. “I had requested my bus owner to lend me Rs 500 after 15 days of the lockdown. But he out rightly rejected. I was very disheartened by the way he refused me. I was working with him since for the last 15 years. I have decided not to drive his bus anymore. Rather I will sell fish even after the lockdown,” said Sardar.
More and more daily wage earners are changing their profession so that they can somehow run their family during this lockdown crisis. The daily wagers have been the most affected due to the nationwide lockdown.
Tarak Singh, the conductor, who has now joined Sardar, said that the government is distribution ration among the poor. But he has kids to worry about. “I have a seven-months-old boy. The doctor has asked us to feed the child with medicines and dry milk, which is necessary for him. But the prices are so high that I have not been able to buy the medicines yet. During this lockdown, I have not earned a single penny as the buses are not running. So, I have decided to assist Ramesh in selling fish. He is paying me Rs 200 per day even if he can’t sell a single fish,” he said.
Likewise many daily wagers who are not able to earn money during the lockdown are either selling vegetables, chicken and even walking long distance with flasks to sell tea.