Life is tough

S. Selsiya

Born on the 6th of October 1999 in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, S. Selsiya, is the daughter of  truck driver, Mr. M. Selvam and Mrs. S. Mani. She is studying B.A English at N.K.R College in Namakkal and dreams to become a professor one day.

My father had to work hard to become a driver. He had no one to provide for his education. So he left the house when he was 15 years old and secured the job of a cleaner.

Initially he started his career by washing lorries and had to undergo many hardships. He worked as a cleaner for two years. Then he became a Tempo driver. For three years he drove a Tempo in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. He became a Tempo driver in 1984 and after three years in 1987 he became a company-employed driver. He drove in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh (Indore).

He generally comes home once in 15 days, stays for a day and then goes back to work again. If he happens to come across any accident while driving, he immediately stops the truck, gives first aid to the injured, and lodges a complaint at the police station, making arrangements to take the injured to the hospital. If a tree has fallen on the highway, he tries his best to remove it. If there is a collision of two vehicles or there is a road blockade, he stops the vehicle and patiently waits for the road to clear.  During rainy season, he drives very slowly and cautiously. He will do so also during heavy fog. On a hill route he never overtakes the vehicle going in front of him. He does not honk near Schools, Hospitals, Courts and honking prohibited zones.

Since many robberies happen along the highways, he halts the vehicle near petrol pumps for safety and starts again at 4 o’clock in the morning. While carrying goods, he checks the tires at every 50 kms. He also checks engine oil every day. Once every 200 kms, he checks the radiator and greasing of joints. While driving, he frequently checks oil gauge, lights and battery conditions. If at all they don’t work, he gets them rectified from a mechanic.

There are three females and one male child in our family. My first sister has completed +2 but she could not go to college. My second sister has completed graduation but has no job. I am the third girl, and I have studied in a Government school. I am studying B.A English in Namakkal Kavingnar Ramalinga Government Women’s Arts College and plan to get a job to help my father as soon as I can.

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