Delhi [India], April 19 (ANI): It has become difficult for the rickshaw pullers in the national capital to sustain their daily livelihood amidst lockdown, as the community mainly depends upon the daily wage earned through rickshaw pulling.
The rickshaw pullers expressed their woes while talking to ANI. They are facing financial problems, arranging daily meals, requesting governments to help and they want to go back to their native homes.
"I am forced to sleep hungry at night as many times food is not supplied here. We are living here in this dirty condition. There is no sanitisation in this area. We are are not able to send even a single penny to their house," Jaleshawar Manjhi, one of the rickshaw pullers told ANI.
"I request the Delhi government to provide food twice a day. sanitation arrangements should be made for us. The government should provide some money to rickshaw pullers in the same way that money is being given to auto people and e-rickshaws, in the same way, we also," he added.
Movement of all vehicles, except for those providing essential services and commodities, is prohibited during the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"In my whole life, I have not seen any situation like this. Authorities serving us Khichidi only. They should provide chapatis too. We will die of hunger instead of COVID-19. We request that they should provide us good food and when situation becomes normal arrangements should be made so that we can travel to our homes. We do not have money, nor we have shelter. We want to go back to our homes," Umesh Pandit said.
A similar emotion was reflected by Doman Mandal, another city rickshaw puller, moaning about the loss of work.
"I am here since 1975. I have all the documents, but we are not allowed to ride a rickshaw. Police have warned us to not step out. I am not earning and getting meals is becoming difficult in this situation," he said.
The lockdown, which was originally scheduled to continue till April 14, has been extended to May 3 keeping the rising number of COVID-19 cases in mind. (ANI)