An Account of Hardship


19 year old Tamilarasi is the daughter of the truck driver Natesan. K and Malarvizhi, from Namakkal, Tamilnadu. She studies B. Sc. (Chemistry) in the Government Muthayammal Memorial College of Arts and Science. She wants to devote herself to research in Organic Chemistry after completing M. Sc. and M. Phill.

I am proud to talk about my father, the breadwinner of our family. His life experiences are varied, and the stories of hardships he goes through is frightening.

My father, a lorry driver, often needs to spend long hours behind the wheel without proper food and water, especially in the rainy season. During many trips, he has had to drive long hours without sleeping to be able to deliver goods on time. But at times, he can’t stay awake due to fatigue. He parks his vehicle and takes rest when he feels too tired.

After loading, lot of energy goes in tying ropes over the lorry to secure goods. This is not an easy task. Often it results in bad pain in the hands and shoulder muscles. He is forced to travel kilometers even if his hands are aching. Sometimes crossing many signals through heavy traffic becomes so tiresome that it causes severe body-ache.  Waiting for hours at a signal where all vehicles around continue honking, troubles the ear and hence the head too. In fact, exposure to noise pollution affected his ability to hear sounds effectively.

My father repairs his vehicle on his own. He takes care of all small repairing jobs, in order to save some amount for the family. He sends his vehicle to garage only for complex repairing and maintenance.

Mostly after reaching the destination, he has to wait for three to five days till unloading completes. If consignee is not ready to accept goods at final destination, then unloading and reloading of goods takes longer. .My father has to always work under stress to maintain proper delivery schedule. Once delivery is completed after much hassle in one place, he sometimes has to wait several hours for reloading goods that he has to deliver to some other destination.

Many times he has to go without proper food during the phase of reloading second delivery. He has made peace with it accepting that as professional hazard. While travelling, he also confronts many attempts of robbery, accidents and natural calamities. Couple of times armed robbers robbed goods he was carrying; also his belongings were stolen. Even after being robbed, he had to cross long distance, without a single paisa in pocket, without food for days. Obvious that he underwent lot of difficulty coming back home crossing such barriers.

His employer never makes full payment after a trip. After every trip, my father receives half of his wage which is not enough to purchase essentials for home. That is reason he needs to work extra hours as well.

My father is my hero. He tries to arrange proper education for us. He has to make sacrifices to turn our dreams into reality. His sacrifice motivates me to study further, so that I am able to build a better future for our family one day.

A lorry driver, if the sole breadwinner of the family, struggles a lot to make both ends meet. Apart from professional hazards, apathy from the part of society and insensitive employer makes the struggle even harder.

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