Truck Drivers are Fighters

S. Reshma

Born in July 1996, S. Reshma hails from Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. She is the daughter of truck driver Mr. Suresh.K and Mrs. Rajeshwari.S. Presently, Reshma is pursuing engineering. She aspires to be a Software Engineer.

We migrated from our native state Kerala to Tamil Nadu in search of a livelihood. The only work my father knows is driving a heavy vehicle. Right from his childhood he has seen poverty. We are no better yet, but father keeps our education at the top of his list of liabilities. Studying in a Government School and then, in a Government College, I have completed my diploma, in Engineering.

I had a younger brother. He was a spastic child.  Three -fourth of my father’s income was spent on his medical expenses. His health condition became worse when he was about thirteen years old. And one day, he left us forever. Our lives turned upside down after his demise.

There isn’t much work during rainy season. Whatever job my father gets during monsoon, he finds it very difficult to do. He tells me there are a lot of potholes on the road which will not be visible due to water-logging. These invisible menaces increase the chances of an accident. Also, the vehicle breaks down more often in rains. Many times, my father would come back home without having slept for more than a day. He looks pathetic and miserable. At such times, we regret our helplessness.

He has seen many accidents.  One day, he stopped his vehicle in ACC to load some material and went to a nearby hotel. On his way to the hotel, he found a family of four – father, mother, and two children, had met with an accident. The two-wheeler they were riding on went very fast and dashed against a lorry in front. All of them lost their lives. Having seen this accident my father was very much upset. Witnessing an accident that wiped off a family made him a more cautious driver. When other drivers drive fast, he advises them to go slow because speed is the first precaution one has to take to avoid accidents.

Father had an accident in his younger days. The effects of the accident showed up only recently. He can’t climb into a lorry or get down easily. He is unable to do any work because he is suffering with acute pain in his hands, legs, shoulders and hip. I took an education loan and completed my studies. Since father is unable to work, I am desperate to finish my studies and look out for a suitable job so that I could repay the loan and help my family.

Satisfaction is a state of mind. You can live remorsefully over your circumstances or you can smile and put up a spirited fight with your destiny to change them. Truck drivers are the people who chose the latter. They are fighters. Being children of a truck driver has been a big help to us because we have learned how to deal with adversity, how to survive with limitations and we have learned to accept and share responsibility.

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