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Transport workers passing hard time due to shutdown

Published : Thursday, 9 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 250
Hedayet Ullah Khan

Thousands of public transport workers - drivers, supervisors and helpers - across the country are passing through a hard time due to the countrywide lockdown amid the Coronvirus pandemic.
All these transport workers, basically daily wage earners, have been living in indescribable hardship since the suspension of public and private transports on March 26.
The government declared a 17-day general holiday from March 26 to April 14 to tackle the spread of Covid-19 across the country.
The ban was imposed on all transports except for emergency services and perishable goods and food-carrying transports rendering a huge number of private transport workers jobless.
Most of them are surviving on single meal a day. Besides, many of them are taking loans from money lenders with high interests.
They haven't yet received any support from the government and even from their employers-the transport owners.
However, some owners claimed that they were helping their employees.
Many owners of different transport companies demanded for providing necessary food supports from the government for survival of their transport workers during the pandemic situation.
Salauddin, a bus driver of a city service in Dhaka, has narrated his hard time to the Daily Observer recently.
He said, "We are passing through the worst time in our life that cannot be expressed in words. The bus owners are not standing by our sides during our hardship. Many of us are forced to borrow money with high interest from different sources."
When contacted, another bus driver of Taranga Plus, Shahin Hossain Sagar said, "We are leading a miserable life as we are ashamed of seeking help from others. Neither the government nor the transport owners are giving any support."
"Local city corporation councilors are providing food support on the basis of NID cards. But many of us, including myself, are not the voter of Dhaka city. As a result, we are not getting the support. In this situation, most of the transport workers are passing days without food," he added.

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