Mauji lal, Amit Kumar and Satish Kumar, all rickshaw pullers since 12-15 years are tensed and are planning to give up their occupation pertaining to the huge losses they have suffered after the announcement of demonetisation.
“Koi aata hi nahee hai ab, poore din mein do teen sawariya hi aati hain, vo bhi bhut lagta hai ab to, bahut mushkil ho gaya hai (No one comes to ride now, even two- three passengers a day is an occasional scenario these days. Things are difficult for us.),” says Mauji Lal.
They are hoping that the banks get enough cash so that the public get enough currency so that their work gets back to normal.
“Kisi ke pas khulle dene ko nahee hain, kaha se aaega koi, bahut mandi hai aur bank mein paise bhi nahee, ab hum Rs 2,000 ka khulla kaha se de (How will the passengers come when they have no change? The business is really down. We can’t exchange a Rs 2,000 note for a rickshaw ride), said another rickshaw puller.
The rickshaw pullers said that earlier they would earn from Rs 400 to Rs 500 a day, but now they don’t earn more than Rs 150. Such a low earning per day is hard to survive with, they say.
Most of the rickshaw pullers keep sitting idle or sleep through the day waiting for customers while the others move out on their routes with empty rickshaws in hope of getting some passengers.
“We have never seen such a situation. Although there are days when we don’t have passengers, but this continuous suffering for more than two weeks is what we have witnessed for the first time,” lamented a group of rickshaw pullers who were resting near Workshop Chowk.