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HomeTop NewsDomestic maids, carpenters, auto-taxi drivers flee Mumbai

Domestic maids, carpenters, auto-taxi drivers flee Mumbai

Immigrant Workers, Mumbai, Coronavirus, Konkan, Lockdown, Corona, Covid19, Mumbai, Maids, Workers, Labours, Rickshaw, Taxi, Mumbai Taxi
Migrant workers and their families board an overcrowded passenger train, after government imposed restrictions on public gatherings in attempts to prevent spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai, India, March 21, 2020. REUTERS/Prashant Waydande

Many maids working in Mumbai have returned to their native places in Konkan and Khandesh regions. These maids moved to Mumbai to earn a living because most of them are from distressed farming background. COVID-19 forced them to abandon work and leave the city. They have either vacated their rooms or have kept them locked. Their departure has led to a crisis with housing societies with many families finding it hard to get replacements. Most of the residents have to do without maids. Many of them have left despite having their family being here; they were living with children and husband who works on daily wages. The indefinite lockdown has crippled their finances too. The migrant labourers who work as construction workers, carpenters, tailors, vegetable vendors have also left Mumbai.

This working population also has people from UP, Bihar and Odisha and Bengal.

Drivers of auto rickshaws, taxis and app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber are leaving the city in thousands. The step-by-step lockdown of the city since the first positive cases of COVID-19 emerged, has hit such drivers the worst.

Most drivers’ hail from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and their earnings this month have plummeted. On an average, they barely make Rs 200 per day.

AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union said, “Most of the drivers have mortgaged their cars for cash to survive in their hometowns. We appeal to the Chief Minister to direct banks to exempt them from making EMI payments this month. Most of them pay EMIs up to ₹10,000 on car loans. Many drivers left by road while some drove their cars home.” there has been an exodus of nearly 80 per cent of Kaali-Peeli drivers. “Over the past week, there has been hardly any business. Those who drove around 70 to 80 km are barely clocking 20 km a day. Many have left their cars along roadsides as parking lots have filled up. We have appealed to the traffic police to not penalise them in such difficult times,” he said.

Leader of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, Thampi Kurien said, “Drivers have decided to return after a month when the situation stabilises. There were practically no autorickshaws on the roads today. Around 70 per cent of the 2.2-lakh drivers have left the city during this week”

The Transport Commissioner on Saturday also directed all share autorickshaws and taxis across the State to suspend services.

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