Rahul Gandhi embarks on yet another ‘yatra’, this time in a truck from Delhi to Chandigarh

Rahul Gandhi embarks on yet another ‘yatra’, this time in a truck from Delhi to Chandigarh

India News

On the outskirts of Delhi, a group of truck drivers resting at Murthal were caught by surprise as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday night, not only spoke with them to understand their difficulties but also hitched a ride to Chandigarh.

Speaking with the long-distance truck drivers, Rahul inquired about why they came into this profession. Most of them answered, “Because there was no other work to be found”.

Talking about the harsh conditions of work, they told Rahul that they drive for about 12-24 hours a day, whilst barely getting paid Rs 10,000, which is not even enough to raise a family.

Rahul then went on to ask if they had any insurance in case of an accident, to which they replied in negative.

The drivers also lamented about their work receiving no consideration or value. “Even if it is our own state, there is no consideration given to drivers. We work so hard, pay all the taxes, be it road tax, token tax and all India permit tax.”

“We worked all throughout lockdown. People were sick at homes and we were transporting medicines and other resources throughout the country,” they added.

As Rahul raised the issue of goods being stolen or damaged during their journey, they replied that it’s always the driver who gets blamed. “The driver is always blamed, as the thief runs away. It is for us to deal with all the consequences. The police arrest the drivers, beat them up and in the end, only they are be penalised.”

“There is no security for a truck driver. It’s a risky job,” they said.

Embarking on yet another ‘yatra’, Rahul then decided to travel for the next 6 hours with driver Prem Rajpoot on his truck to Chandigarh.

Engaging in conversation with him, the Congress leader asked him about the money he could make off of driving and how much he is able to save. “Bas guzara ho jata hai (It’s only enough to go through the month),” he replied.

Rajpoot told Rahul about his dreams of providing a good education to his children, who aspire to have a government job one day. “My father had advised me against driving the truck because it’s a dangerous job but at that time, there was no other work available. If not this, I would have been farming in the village. Had I studied, I would have maybe gotten a private job,” said Rajpoot.

“Where does inflation hit you the most,” asked Rahul. “Fuel,” replies, Rajpoot. “If the diesel prices increase, the cost of goods too goes up. If we buy cooking oil, we are unable to buy eatables. If we buy wheat, we are unable to buy the means to cook it,” adds his truck conductor Rakesh Kumar.

“If your government comes, will we get some relief? Will there be any new regulations implemented for us,” asked Rajpoot hopefully.

“We’ll definitely try,” Gandhi replied.

At around 5 am, they made a stop at Gurudwara Manji Sahib in Ambala, where Rahul sat through the Shabad Kirtan. At around 6 am, they reached a dhaba in Dera Bassi, where Rahul was seen having parathas and tea with Prem and Rakesh.

“You drive really well,” Rahul told Prem. “I understood that after sitting and travelling with you, and how difficult a job it is that you do,” he said before parting with them.

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