Life of Truck Drivers in India
A truck driver’s life in India is not an easy one, and it regularly figures in the list of worst jobs in the country. Long hours, inhospitable working conditions, lack of sleep and constant harassment on the road means the life expectancy of a truck driver is at least 10 years less than the national average. Those that live long, suffer from multiple health disorders. Driving a truck is risky as well. According to National Crime Records Bureau data, 20 per cent of all fatalities on the road in India in 2014 were of those driving trucks.
The living conditions of a truck driver is an apt case for the National Human Rights Commission. They live in the fringes of the society, like outcasts. We have heard instances where truck drivers have struggled to find brides as nobody wants to give their daughters to them. Lack of any infrastructure for them to rest on the highway also means they become alcoholics and drug addicts. They do not have access to proper food, rest and sanitation facilities
Sleep is a privilege which they are deprived off. They have a target and to achieve it they got to cover long distances. To achieve this, within the given time limit, they drive miles without taking a break and proper sleep. This affects their health and is one of the main reasons for accidents to take place on highways. On an average a truck driver does 2 to 3 long distance trips in a month. They are always on the road to earn their bread and get to spend very less time with their families.
Truck drivers, as they are always behind the wheels and on roads, take rest in the roadside dhabas with no other options left out. There is no regulatory authority to look after this issue. Highway robbery has been on an increase in India. According to the report in Times of India, there are more than 82,000 cases of theft across the country on highways and out of this 64,000 (almost 80%) cases are in Uttar Pradesh.
It’s not an easy job to be a truck driver in India. A truck driver’s life is full of danger and insecurity. There are no proper rules and regulations made for them regarding their health, working hours, payment, poor infrastructure etc. There seems to be lack of strong initiatives from government to transportation sector in India. All these factors are discouraging the youth to take up the job as truck drivers thus adding to the challenges of this industry. Social minded innovations by entrepreneurs, companies like Portflip (www.portflip.com) and government could change this scenario so that truck driving can be looked upon as a desirable occupation