By Hrishikesh Angomcha
IMPHAL, September 25: The impact of the ongoing economic blockade on the national highways is clearly manifested on the lives of daily wage earners. There is no increase in their wages but the prices of day-to-day much needed commodities have skyrocketed in the wake of the economic blockade.
Chaoba, a rickshaw driver in Imphal area who earns about Rs. 150 daily, stated that he could easily manage a square meal for his family comprising of four members with his daily earning besides saving some amount for medical and other purposes. But, now he can hardly manage to give his family a square meal owing to the extreme price rise of essential commodities.
“My little daughter cries for want of more food, but I am totally helpless. I cannot even earn more to satisfy the needs of my family”, he said dishearteningly.
Ibohal, a mason who earns about Rs. 300 daily, maintained that the shortage of construction materials such as steel and cement has stopped their works. He has no alternative way to make his earning other than masonry.
“My family is surviving with just my wife’s little earning from selling vegetables in the local market. I will not be able to withstand the sufferings for more days”, Ibohal stated.
Sakhi, a domestic help, stated that her little earning was sufficient to feed her five children before the blockade, but with high prices of food commodities her children now have to satisfy with half-stomach.
“We, poor people will surely die if the economic blockade continues for more days”, she cried out.
A non-local barber, Rajkumar stated that he could send enough money to his family members in Bihar every month. But, now he has stopped sending money since last month due to the economic blockade.
He said Rs. 50 was quite sufficient for a square meal before, but now he spends nearly Rs. 100 daily on his meals.
Ingocha, an auto driver, stated that there is no increase in the fare even though fuel prices have skyrocketed. He could hardly earn Rs. 300 daily now. Most of his earnings have been consumed in just procuring the day-to-day needed items at a very high price.
They were happy though not fully satisfied before the economic blockade, but their lives have seen such miseries in the aftermath of the economic blockade.
The daily wage earners want the authorities concerned to bring down the prices and ensure continued availability of essential commodities.
It is commendable that the CAF & PD has recently fixed the prices of all essential commodities. The sufferings of the common people can be eased only if the state government takes up the right course of action.