Mangaluru, May 9, 2021: Staying in rented rooms in Urwastore, daily wage labourers are awaiting the day when the lockdown would be lifted and they would be allowed to work so that they can send money for the education of children.
The labourers wait near the bus stand daily in anticipation that people will come and engage them for work. After waiting till noon, they return back to their rooms empty-handed. About 300 to 400 daily wage labourers from Naragund and Bagalkot are without jobs in Mangaluru since a week following closedown announced by the government to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19.
Daily wage labourers’ wait for job continues in Mangaluru pic.twitter.com/BHy2rxoa6v— Mangalore Today News (@mangalore_today) May 9, 2021
The labourers were earning a livelihood by working as coolies, helping in gardening, and other works. “After the announcement of the closedown, no one are hiring us for any work. We are jobless. Women workers were earning Rs 500 to Rs 600 per day while men were earning Rs 600 to Rs 700 per day,” said Shobha.
Another labourer Gangamma, said; “we own farm fields in our native town. When there is no farm work, we come to Mangaluru in search of employment as wages paid here are higher than our native place. Now we are making use of our savings to purchase grocery and vegetables for the day to day living. We don’t know how long this situation will last for. We do not want anything except a job.”
“Owing to lack of work, we could not pay rent for the room we are staying in. We have requested the owner to give us some time to pay the rent for the month. Following rise in covid cases, we have already sent our children back to native villages,” another daily wage labour.
“We did not have any problem all these days. Now, the closedown is causing many inconveniences to us,” said another labourer Mahesh.