M. Madhi has been an auto driver for two decades and is part of a strong 15-member auto stand in Abiramapuram.
The lockdown of 2020, and the extension since April this year, has put him and his family members under severe stress.
He says he has not been able to pay the auto rent as well as the rent for his house in Visalakshi Thottam over the last 12 months.
“There were 15 members in this auto stand prior to lockdown of last year. But now, 10 of our members have moved away into other areas of work. A couple of them have taken up jobs as watchmen, a few have become drivers with Urbaser and a few have become car drivers. Now we are left with just six in this stand.”
Madhi’s usual customer base includes school-going children and office goers.
With schools locked out for a whole year and the WFH model taking off in the corporate world, Madhi has had to stare blankly.
Now, he is hopeful – that the lifting of the restrictions will result in a revival in his fortunes “Opening up of offices and shops will help me get some trips and earn some money,” he says.
- Report and photo – S. Prabhu