News Karnataka
Monday, November 29 2021

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‘Can’t eke out decent living through auto driving’

Dubai: The fifth episode of Subalterns by Village TV Trust, Mangaluru and St. Loyola College, Bengaluru, powered by newskarnataka.com was held on YouTube on Friday October 15.

With the objective of ‘P2P – Local to Global’, the show is aimed at providing a platform for unheard young voices of the society and thus create a supportive environment.

The programme host is Spearhead Media Group Mentor and Advisor CA Valerian Dalmaida, and the Co-host is Kiran Nirkan. The weekly programme is in Kannada.

Dayananda S., Raghavendra A., and Pooja C. were the participants and the special guests. Dayananda is the son of Shrinivas and Krishnamma, his brother Mohan Kumar is an auto driver. Raghavendra is the son of Anjinappa and Manjula. His father is also an auto driver. His sister, Megha A. is a final year B.Com student, and Pooja C., 3rd B.Com student also hails from a family of auto drivers.

In the beginning of the programme host Kiran Nirkan explaining the motto of starting ‘Subalterns’ said, “the new series has been started with an intention to provide a voice to the voiceless people, who belong to the marginalised communities of the society. As a part of the decennial celebrations of NewsKarnataka, we have undertaken this initiative.”

Auto driver Anjanappa said that, ”I am riding the auto since 17 years . I begin working since 6 in the morning till 7 in the evening. I drive around 300 kms per day. I spend approximately Rs. 360 for gas. Before Covid I was earning quite better but after Covid it is difficult to even save Rs. 150 a day after excludinv all the expenses. We can’t afford a house from earnings made by autorickshaw.”

Further, he said, ”during Covid lockdown we suffered a lot, but still Loyola College gave us food kits and we also got some grains through BPL card. And also after note ban we faced several problems about 3 months. Every month to run the family we need Rs. 6000 to 7000 per month. We have to strive hard for that money,” he added.

Anjanappa’s wife said, “I do household work and look after my mother-in-law. We manage the expenses every month.”

Dayanand could not express his opinion as he faced connectivity issues.

Dr. Kumaraswamy Bijjihalli, head of the Kannada Department in Loyola College, Bengaluru said that Subalterns is a wonderful programme. Loyola College has many students who belong to such marginalised families. Our college gives admissions to the students of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Ahinda and all the marginalised communities. We are very happy that NewsKarnataka has come forward and given a platform to express their woes.

“Auto drivers are also human beings. We should not insult them. They too have dignity. No media understands problems of auto drivers. Government should look after the welfare of the auto drivers. They need kind words from the passengers,” said Dr. Bijjihalli.

Raksha Deshpande

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