In this episode of School Auto, we are in conversation with auto driver Mahesh.
Mahesh came to Bengaluru seven years ago. Earlier, he used to ride a school auto in Channapatna and also take on other bookings but he was not earning enough to survive well. “Here too, I am riding a school auto and am struggling to support myself. We don’t receive any specific facilities from the Government and we have requested the administration to provide housing facility to auto drivers. We all are ready to pay off a loan, if needed. In Channapatna, for the school trips, I used to get Rs. 2,000, aside from the other small fares.”
Mahesh used to often leave home at 4 am and work till midnight. After the school trips, he used to wait near bus stands to be hailed for rides. “Any auto driver will have to face many problems. I believe that if this occupation didn’t exist, many youngsters would have become thieves or killers. A few people who have graduate degrees are also opting to become auto drivers. But the problems attached to this work persist.”
Mahesh faced a new set of problems when he came to Bengaluru. He didn’t know the route from Nayandahalli to Sunkadakatte and once had come back to the place where he had started the journey. He hadn’t known where Vidhana Soudha was. “Other auto drivers guided and supported me while getting to know the routes.”
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