Rahul Gandhi's yatra with Indian truckers

Gandhi shared a video of his journeys with several long-distance truck drivers from Chandigarh to Murthal, to understand their problems


NH Digital

Setting out on another yatra (journey or pilgrimage), Rahul Gandhi travelled with truck driver Prem Rajdoot and conductor Rakesh Kumar from Murthal in Delhi to Chandigarh. He met with a group of long-distance truck drivers at Murthal to understand their problems.

Speaking to Gandhi, they said they took to driving because they couldn’t find any other work. “If not for driving, they would have been working on a farm,” said Rajdoot during the journey.

Complaining about the harsh conditions in which they drive for 12–24 hours, the truck drivers said they are paid a paltry Rs 10,000 per month even after driving for about 12–24 hours a day. This, all of them agreed, wasn’t enough to raise a family.

They pointed out that no one considers their work of any value. “We worked all throughout lockdown. People were sick at homes and we were transporting medicines and other resources throughout the country,” they added. Yet, if anything were to go wrong the drivers are always blamed, they pointed out during the conversation. If goods are stolen or damaged, cases are filed on drivers, they added.

During the conversation with Rajdoot on the journey to Chandigarh, Rahul asked what hurt them most about inflation. To which, pat came the reply, “fuel”. “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,” added Kumar.

Rajdoot underscored that his father had warned him against becoming a truck driver. “It’s a dangerous job but at that time, there was no other work available. Had I studied, I would have maybe gotten a private job. I hope my kids study and will get a government job,” said Rajdoot.

He asked if the conditions for drivers would improve if Congress came to power, to which Gandhi replied, “hopefully”.

He parted with them at a dhaba in Dera Bassi, before which they had stopped at Gurdwara Manji Sahib in Ambala.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had taken the truck rides from Delhi to Chandigarh as a part of reaching out to truck drivers and understanding their problems. Then the party had taken a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting that Gandhi was the one actually listening to ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

"According to media reports, there are about 90 lakh truck drivers on the Indian roads. They have their own problems. Rahul ji did the work of listening to his 'Mann Ki Baat'," the tweet further added.

The stationhouse officer of Baldev Nagar Police Station, Ambala City, Ram Kumar said that at around 4.30 am, the Congress leader got down from a truck near Gurdwara Manji Sahib on the Grand Trunk Road.

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