Sraddha takes conductor job as bus owner-father gets behind wheel amid COVID crisis
Irinjalakuda:‘Khandakarnan’, a bus which plies on Irinjalakuda-Amballur-Eravakkad route takes service by displaying the enviable bond between a father and daughter. Whenever, acquaintances board the bus, driver Gopakumar introduces his daughter, Sraddha the new conductor on his bus, to them.
Gopakumar, a native of Padiyoor is the owner of this bus. His daughter KG Sraddha was preparing for CA final exam after passing intermediate. But when COVID-19 outbreak interrupted her exams and studies, she decided to accompany her father as a bus conductor.
“The bus was in the shed for three long months. I purchased a new bus three years ago. Rs 30,000 should be paid as a monthly instalment of the loan. I decided to take the bus for service to repay the loans,” said Gopakumar
As there are only a few passengers, appointing workers will incur more financial liability. Realizing his situation, Sraddha and his son Ramjith joined hands with him to resume the service.
“This bus is our only livelihood. My father would not be able to raise the wage for a worker in this situation. So I decided to take up the role of a bus conductor. Now, I am completely adjusted and experienced in the job. In the initial days, I wrote the fare stage on a paper and kept it in my hand while approaching passengers. Giving tickets is not an issue as only limited number of passengers are boarding the bus. If I have any doubt, I will clear it with my father,” said Sraddha with a smile.
Gopakumar stated that he is really proud of his daughter.
“She voluntarily came forward to become bus conductor. I did not influence her to take up the job. She knows my financial problems and the expense on their education,” explained the father.
Son Ramjith is a second year degree student. He also accompanies his father and sister whenever there is no online class.
“We need to take at least 3 trips a day to earn money for diesel. At 6.45 am, we start the first trip from Puthenchira Kombathukadav to Irinjalakuda. Sraddha will be ready at Irinjalakuda bus station to start her conductor job. She will continue to work until the last trip. Sraddha will conclude her service in Irinjalakuda at 6.30 pm and I take the service alone to Kombathukadavu,” said Gopakumar.
The trip to Kodungallur was cancelled due to the shortage of passengers.
When COVID-19 turned a villain in their life, this family decided to stand together and battle the crisis to survive.