Octogenarian Rickshaw Puller Sombhu Kalita

Octogenarian Rickshaw Puller Struggling For A Morsel A Day In Assam

November 16, 2021

His name is Shambhu Kalita, an octogenarian rickshaw puller who has been taking people to their destinations for the last 65 years in Assam's Bajali district.

When the prices of every essential commodity have skyrocketed today, 82-year-old Kalita is struggling to buy even a morsel of food to feed his family of five.

Kalita lives with his wife, two daughters and a son.

Kalita waits the entire day for passengers and at the end of the day manages to earn a meagre amount of Rs 50 to Rs 60, which is way below the standard earning.

However, his grit and a never-say-die attitude give him the strength to keep fighting and continuing his journey.

“I pay Rs 40 as rent per day for the rickshaw I paddle for carrying passengers. The monthly rent thus comes around Rs 1200," the octogenarian said this correspondent.

"It has become difficult to arrange even two meals a day. I have no customers because of my age as people don't want to travel on my rickshaw. All those coming out in the market have either car or two-wheeler or prefer travelling in electric rickshaws," he added.

"I have known him for years. He is friendly and a man full of dignity. He will prefer to stay hungry than begging for food and money," said Paresh Kalita, a local, while speaking to this correspondent.

"Even though he can barely pull the rickshaw, sometimes some people do travel with him so that he earns some money," he added.

"His work ethics and hard labour is an inspiration. We should learn from his life and keep fighting with our problems instead of simply giving up," Kalita further added while admiring the grit of the octogenarian rickshaw puller.

Octogenarian Rickshaw Pullers like Sombhu Kalita are plenty across the country. The government should bring out schemes for individuals like him so that they don't have to struggle so much at the fag end of their lives.

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