Difficult times for porters at New Delhi Rly Stn
The porters at New Delhi railway station are having a harrowing time following the cash shortage due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Dependent solely on everyday’s cash transactions, the porters say that their earnings have lowered after the demonetisation scheme has come into effect as passengers do not have cash to pay them. Most of the porters mention that even as huge rush of passengers ensure that there is a demand of manual labour for picking up and transferring heavy luggages, lack of change is resulting in most of the porters settling for lower rates or simply refusing to carry the luggage.
There are around 1,500 porters at the New Delhi Railway Station. Most of them belong to Rajasthan and stay in Delhi away from their families.
The porters also mentioned that the present cash crunch is affecting not only them but also their large families back home.
Even as the standardised rates are fixed at Rs 60 for picking and transferring 40 kg of luggage, porters highlight that often negotiation with customers leaves them with a very small amount. Sewa Ram from Karauli district of Rajasthan has been working as a porter at New Delhi station for the past 24 years. He says: “I have a family of about 20 members back home. Each month I have to send money to my family through a correspondent. This month there has been a huge shortage and I have asked them to adjust. I cannot bring them to the city as I cannot afford their expenses.”