Weekend shutdown worry for daily wagers in Odisha

The 48-hour weekend shutdown to check the second wave of COVID-19 has started left the daily wagers and workers in the unorganised sector worried.

Published: 25th April 2021 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2021 08:14 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The 48-hour weekend shutdown, imposed across Odisha from Saturday, to check the second wave of COVID-19 has started left the daily wagers and workers in the unorganised sector worried.

The contractual labourers and daily wage earners who were hit hard by the lockdown and shutdown last year, said the fresh move will worsen their financial condition further. 

“Everything has been shut down. If this continues, how we will pay our house rent and make ends meet? Who will pay us?” asked a woman labourer who waited for work near Nayapalli Durga mandap on the day. Gopal Sethi, who irons cloths near an apartment complex in Chandrasekharpur said, with positive cases being reported in double digit in the locality everyday, many households had already stopped availing laundry service from him.

With the shutdown, his daily earnings will further shrink as he would not be able to work for two days in a week, he said. 

Thousands of auto-rickshaw and private taxi drivers will also be affected by the move, said general secretary of the All Odisha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Association Padma Samal.

“There are more than 30,000 auto-rickshaw drivers who earn their wages on a daily basis. Closure of schools, colleges, temples and restrictions in workplaces have already affected their business. The weekend shutdown will hit them further,” Samal said.

Samal said they have scheduled a meeting with the State transport officials on Monday as livelihood of thousands of auto and taxi drivers is at stake.


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