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Retrospective View On Driver’s Day of 14th January By:Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh.

  When we talk about Driver’s Day we should not see only the drivers. Our economy is made alive by the trucks and buses plying on the roads, they are the backbone of our development progress. Transporting essential goods from one place to another within the state as well as from outside the state are being carried out by them. At the same time limited product of our state also being reached to markets by them thus connecting the farmers and people through markets.Our main means of transport is only surface transport, that too only buses and trucks as we don’t have railway line as of now. Thus drivers have a major role in this aspect. It will be impossible to have a healthy economy without healthy transport system so as drivers. Our living economy is due to transporters by the by drivers. Drivers are the key factors for our transport.
      As drivers are so important for our development process so everybody is posing a serious voice, not to harass the drivers. But is it really doing so? I don’t think so. People with cars or two wheelers on the roads has nothing to do with our economy and development except posing traffic problem & pollution. Even police or VDF never pay attention to them (except to those delinquent youths), of course these group of people are living in a different level of livelihood. The most important people are the truck & bus drivers who reach us from one place to other and who reach all the essential commodities for our livelihood. .But it’s very unfortunate that when trucks of any kind are seen, police or VDF will come out from nowhere and stop them. I think this is not to check the documents of the vehicle or license of the driver. This is observed by us every day. Isn’t it? If that’s the case of having no proper vehicle’s documents or driver’s license, the law will take its own course. But it’s not. The driver simply lend out the hand to sack with police’s hand through certain exchange that everybody knows.  At this point of time we must note that drivers are more important than those police who stop them, in the growth of our economic activities. But nobody knows it and never try to know also. However something or other are shouting on Driver’s Day. Without the role taken by our drivers, how can the economy of Manipur grow? Can it be imagined? Who are responsible for our economic growth? Are they not taking a major role in this sector? But, instead of protecting them to serve us freely without any fear, whenever police saw them, police will immediately rush to them to stop the trucks with fearful weapons in hand as if drivers are culprit to sack the hands for something. This is not what our public expect from police. In addition to this kind of harassment, our drivers are also facing untold miseries from other non-state actors while plying on two national highways. Many were kidnapped, beaten even killed and looted. Problems faced by them during rainy seasons due to landslide etc. is known to everyone. Not only on driver’s day, 24x7 or throughout the year, it’s necessary to take up proper measures to protect our drivers from any kind of disturbance to deliver their services at their best.

  Our honorable MLAs &Ministers, on driver’s day said, the services of drivers are very important and they should deliver their duties diligently, sincerely and cautiously as lives of many are in their hand. Yes, it’s true but our drivers both in valley, hills, &in the National highways   have been facing untold misery for years. At the same time the untold story of mental harassment by police during handshake causes our drivers mentally disturbed, angry, sometimes murmur vulgar language. How can it be stopped by our Ministers and MLAs? Until such unwanted activities by our state actor or non-state actor stops, untold grievances of our drivers will never die. Announcement by our government during this year’s driver’s day about the medical assistant to the drivers and their families is encouraging but what about the accidental death, injuries, and damages for the drivers and handy man? It will be a good step forward if govt. take up suitable policies and programs for the save deliverance of their service and their welfare as they are more important than Police & VDF in the economic growth of our state.Simply celebrating driver’s day every year on 14th January by presenting somegifts to drivers and their families without true spirit of the importance of drivers in our society will have no meaning.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.

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