Celebrating Eid without Papa

B. Riya

B. Riya is the daughter of the truck driver S. Barkath and B. Rajiya. Born in July 1999. The family hails from Kandhalampatti village in Krishnagiri district of Tamilnadu. She is a 2nd year student in Pachamuthu College of Arts and Science for Women. Joining Indian Civil Service is her dream of life.

Finding words to describe the experiences of my father is difficult. He is a truck driver and I am proud to be his daughter. He understands the value of his daughter’s education. He was a school dropout; could not continue going to school due to poor financial condition of his family. But he tries his best to educate me.  He is a hard working person, who tries to support his family even at the cost of own health. His occupation carries long-term health risks. A driver’s body is always exposed to pollution and hot air from engines. Long-haul driving overheats his body leading to many health issues. But he is more concerned about the health of his children than his own.

He has faith in me. I also try my best to remain trustworthy to him.  He teaches us to treat everyone equally. He tells me to be honest and to take a disciplined approach to life. He emphasizes on being generous and hardworking.  I want to achieve my goals in life following the path he shows us.

Having 35years of experience in long-route driving, he drives carefully. He follows traffic rules attentively to avoid mishaps. But road condition is miserable in many areas. Driving on those roads is dangerous for the driver as controlling a truck becomes extremely difficult on poorly maintained roads.

Sometimes pedestrians are not aware of traffic rules. Government has constructed highways for easy and fast movement of goods and essentials. These roads also makes travelling from one place to another faster. Pedestrians should follow certain rules while crossing these highways. If they ignore those rules, it becomes difficult for a driver to avert accidents.  That is reason I think creating traffic rules awareness among pedestrians very important.

My father does not only drive over the night, he also stays away from home months together, if given a long driving assignment. We keep on waiting for him. But he rarely returns quickly. We expect him to join us in family functions. He misses those too. Almost every year, I miss my father during Ramzan. Ramzan is biggest festival of Islam-followers. All our family members celebrate it together. His absence from home that time upsets everyone at home. But a long distance truck driver like him cannot spend time with family. 

Night driving exhausts him. It affects his health. He suffers from sleeplessness and other health issues.  Once he returned home from duty with high fever. I felt sorry for him seeing him in that condition. Not knowing how to take care of him, I felt helpless too. Next day, he went to the nearby Hospital. The doctor advised him to take rest. That became a memorable day in my life. Based on doctor’s advice, my father had to stay at home for several days.

I want to be an IAS officer. But I am more serious about taking care of my family. My parents have been struggling against poverty, trying to manage everything with hard work since long. I want to support them in future. I want to surprise my father by purchasing him a truck. I dream of making him the owner of a truck someday! That will be the achievement of my life!

Finally, I want to thank you for the “Mahindra Saarthi Abhiyaan” initiative.  The program is very useful to people like us who wouldn’t be able to continue studies without your financial support. Your program helped me and my sisters to get education. Thank you for every support you have provided. I pray to God for the success of you projects too along with ours.

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