98% truck drivers don’t want family members to join their profession: Survey | India News

NEW DELHI: Nearly 98% truck drivers covered in a study said they do not want their family members to join the driving profession.
The study based on a qualitative interview by a not-for-profit organisation has revealed harassment by authorities, low and irregular income, risk of fatalities or injuries and no dignity of labour as the main reasons for hardly any driver wanting anyone else in the family to take up this job.
The survey, based on detailed interviews of truck drivers across several cities, was conducted by Asia-Africa Supply Chain Transform Health Alliance in association with the People to People Health Foundation. According to the report, 75% of the drivers surveyed complained about harassment by police and local groups; 72% spoke about low and irregular income; and nearly 36% felt there is no dignity of their labour.
“Since the problem that the truck drivers face is common knowledge, we did deep dive into the concerns that they have, including the health issues in these detailed interviews. Most of the drivers said they were sole earners in their families and most were married,” said Archishman Mohapatra, who headed the study. He said most of the drivers admitted that they often drive up to 14 hours a day.
According to the report, the Indian trucking industry has around 90 lakh vehicles on the road which along with new additions need around nine lakh new truck drivers every year. Although this number is growing, on the contrary the number of people opting for commercial truck-driving as a career or profession is dropping rapidly. As a consequence, about 40% of total trucks and goods transport vehicles remain idle on any given day.
During the survey, 37% of the respondents spoke about chronic pain or musculo-skeletal issues, while 28% complained about sleep related problems.
Major truckers’ bodies also said that there has been a huge fall in the number of drivers coming from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which had traditionally been sending men behind the wheels. Now a large chunk of drivers in the unorganised sector hail from Mewat in Haryana.