Friday March 22, 2019

Working class heroes: Grim yet glittery lives of porters of Kolkata


By Sreyashi Mazumdar

While strolling through the rugged pavements of Burrabazaar, one of the busiest spots in the city of joy, one generally doesn’t pay heed to the teeming crowd of porters sprawling over every miniscule section of the alleys, striving hard to earn a fortune. “It has been 15 years since I have shifted to Kolkata, and I don’t repent my decision. The trade might not bring forth a sense of certainty but at the same time I wouldn’t like to change it if given a chance,” says a porter.










“People might be lazing around…. but unfortunately we fail to do so… or we can’t do so…”










They kick off with their daily chores when the clock ticks 7 in the morning, struggling hard, leaving their reveries behind.














“We generally wrap up at 7 in the evening, waiting to get paid for the hard work we put in. It is during this time of the day that we share a laugh together… at times we even laugh off our reveries”










Like the wavered headlights of the truck staring at them, the porters at time stare at their bleak future, a future bereaved of certainty.










The darkness in the alleys inhabited by the porters with a streak of light blazing it narrates the story of their life- a life despite nibbling on an uncertain source of income etched with snippets of smiles.

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)