With rail travel at standstill, SCR staff come to licensed porters’ aid

Hyderabad, April 4 (IANS) The suspension of rail services due to the Covid-19 induced 21-day nationwide lockdown has hit the livelihoods of thousands of licenced porters earning their livelihoods at hundreds of railway stations all over the country.

Amid this backdrop, the employees at the South Central Railway got together to lend a helping hand to around 100 licenced porters of the zone on Saturday.
The zone comprises four divisions and few hundred porters earn their living at the various railway stations that come under the zone. The staff of the Commercial Department in the SCR zone have collected essentials and money and handed them over to the porters at the Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur and Nanded Divisions.
Essentials such as rice, dal, edible oil, flour, salt, soaps, sanitary kits and other grocery items were handed over to porters in the zone. The porters were also given some money to tide the tough times. In all, 101 porters in the Hyderabad Division, 40 in the Guntakal Division, 33 in the Guntur Division and 13 in the Nanded Division received help from the employees of SCR.
The staff members said that helping the porters during the hard times is nothing short of a responsibility. The porters expressed their gratitude for the aid given to them by the employees of the SCR.
The licenced porters, earlier known as railway coolies, are authorised by the Railways to assist rail users in carrying their personal luggage at railway premises for stipulated porterage charges as prescribed by the railway authorities.
With the imposition of the 21-day national lockdown as a precautionary measure to combat Covid-19, all passenger, mail and express trains stand cancelled till April 14.