Desperate times for Agra's railway coolies, lockdowns force many to look for other jobs

There are about 240 coolies working at four major railway stations in Agra - Agra Cantt, Agra Fort, Raja Ki Mandi and Idgah.

Published: 06th June 2021 12:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2021 12:27 PM   |  A+A-

rajdhani express, railways

For representational purposes. (File | PTI)


AGRA: Lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit coolies at Agra's railways stations hard, forcing many of them out of work.

Some of them now pull rickshaws, others work as labourers.

Sharing his ordeal, Munna Khan (50), a coolie at Agra Cantt railway station, told PTI, "There are 102 coolies at the station who are divided into two shifts. In one shift about 52 coolies are allowed to work, but these days only 10-25 coolies are coming due to less number of passengers."

"Moreover, the passengers avoid taking our service due to fear of COVID-19. This adverse situation is forcing us to do other work to run the house," he added.

There are about 240 coolies working at four major railway stations in Agra - Agra Cantt, Agra Fort, Raja Ki Mandi and Idgah.

Another coolie at the Agra Cantt station, 40-year-old Fakira shared that he now also pulls a rickshaw as there is no work at the railway station since the outbreak of the second wave of Covid.

"I come to the station in the hope of getting work but spend the entire day sleeping. At night I pull a rickshaw to fulfil the needs of my family," he said.

Talking about the difficulties, Rajveer said he spends Rs 150 on travelling to the Agra Cantt station from his home, which is about 15 kms away, in the hope to earn some money.

"At the station, I spend my entire day sleeping or waiting for passengers. Most of the day, I don't get any money," he said.

Rajveer further said, "When I don't get work at the station, I work as a labourer in the city or near my village as I have two daughters and wife at home. My daughters are studying in Class 6 and 7 in a government school."

Another coolie, Yasin, who used to earn Rs 500-800 daily before the pandemic said it has now become difficult to even earn Rs 200 in a day.

"I have borrowed money from my relatives to bring ration and other household essentials for my family," he said.

"We are hoping for revival of the good days and hope that soon footfall of the passengers will increase so that we get work," Yasin said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp