Dubai: The fourth episode of Subalterns by Village TV Trust, Mangaluru and St. Loyola College, Bengaluru, powered by NewsKarnataka.com was held on YouTube on Friday, October 8.
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.
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.”
Speaking further he welcomed all the participants of the talk show series.
Raju G. and Suman S., 3rd BCom B students were the participants and special guests. Raju is the son of Gangadhar G. who is an auto driver. His mother is Bhagya C. Suman is the son of Srinivas and Padma. His father is also an auto driver.
Auto driver Gangadhar said that “we have to do work from early morning to late night. It will take almost an hour to drop one customer.” His son Raju G said about his lifestyle. He said, “the gas price has increased, and hence so we are not able to lead a decent life following this vocation. Before Covid, we used to earn around Rs. 1000 – 1200 daily, but now it is very hard to even earn Rs. 300 – 400 daily, which is not enough to pay even auto rent.”
Another auto driver Srinivas said, “since 31 years he is driving the auto, and it is the main source of income for his family. But nowadays the income from the auto is not enough to fulfill his family needs. Covid impacted him very badly. After the emergence of Ola and Uber, people won’t come out of the house, they book the taxi by sitting at home, he noted
He also requested the government to provide petrol and gas at subsidised prices to the auto drivers.
Srinivas’s son Suman is doing a part-time job, which means he is joining his hands with his father to bring the daily bread for his family. At the end of the day, I can only save around Rs. 150 by excluding all the expenses.
Meanwhile, Valerian Dalmaida giving an example of weavers said, “when it comes to weavers the real profit is gained by mediators and not the weavers who work day and night to weave the sarees.”
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.
About auto driver’s problems, Dr. Kumarswamy Bijjihalli said, “there are around 10 lakh autos in Karnataka. During Corona lock-down government has announced packages of 300 crore rupees but it has sanctioned only 20 crore rupees, and hence around 27000 applications were cancelled.
To uplift the auto drivers, and bring them into the mainstream the government should include the auto drivers as part of the government on a contract basis, and then the government should fix the amount. And also government should provide health insurance, accident insurance for auto drivers and their families. And also he said we have to respect the auto drivers and cab drivers, and we have to listen to their problems. The government should develop the apps like Ola and Uber, which will also help auto drivers and proves profitable for the government.”
“Unless the labourers raise their voice for the rights against the government they won’t come to the mainstream,“ said Valerian Dalmaida.
In the end, all the participants thanked NewsKarnataka for the informative initiatives and told that they will organise themselves and take a stand for their rights.