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The Homecoming

Radha Singh

Born on 23 Sep. 1996, Radha Singh hails from Kanhan (Nagpur), Maharashtra. She is a BSC-IT final year student pursuing her education in Sadabai Raisoni Women’s College. Her future aim is to get a job in a well reputed organization and make her family proud of her. Her father is truck driver Mr. Ashok Singh Kaoshik and mother, Mrs. Uma Singh.

 


My lovely father has been a long – haul trucker from his teens. He never tells us about the incidents he faces but for him, every day is a new problem. The job of driving a truck is quite dangerous and risky. But the truck drivers take it up as a daily activity. Since my father spends a large part of his life on the road with their truck, the road has become his identity.

There are days when he spends the night in the shops of truck mechanics or in the rest areas of road side dhabas. Sometime he is left alone in secluded areas which get dangerous. We hear about other truck drivers who were resting in isolated neighbourhoods when they were attacked by thieves for their valuable cargo, money and property, or for the truck. Such incidents have also resulted in deaths!

Since my father spends long hours behind the wheel, he faces back muscles strains. In between every 24 hours of driving he takes one or two hours out to rest. Not that he doesn’t need sleep but it is a luxury he can’t dream of. Yet, most people have little or no respect for him or for what he does.

The biggest problem for Indian truck drivers is the miserable condition of the trucks. Most transporters have a very short vision and hence they focus on getting back every single penny out of their investments. Maintenance of the truck hence goes for a toss and is not prioritized unless it breaks down. The drivers comfort and safety is thus neglected.

Everyone is keen to take money from truck drivers, both the RTO and the police. The RTO at least has some jurisdictions but the police doesn’t. Yet, they are first to stop them and collect money even when everything is in order.

I get scared when dad doesn’t reach home overnight and sometimes we can’t contact him because he is in such area in which the mobile network is not available. But my father’s life struggles taught me how to face the up-downs of life and challenge any difficult situation to reach our goals. My papa faces every new challenge bravely and even after all of that, he is always smiling and tries to fulfil all our needs without any complain or demands.


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