Afraid of each trip, lady bus conductors talk on duty during COVID-19 outbreak
Kottayam: KR Manjumol, the lady KSRTC bus conductor, noticed an aged woman inside the bus when the trip started from Thiruvalla bus depot. She was seen struggling to board the bus. After finding a seat, she started complaining about her knee pain.
“Oh.. this knee pain, this will kill me, said the old woman. She was found having breathing problems too. While giving ticket to her, conductor Manju interacted with the aged woman.
“Ammachi, why are you traveling alone during these times?, Why don’ t you stay safe at home?,” asked Manju.
“It’s impossible. It was my granddaughter’s first delivery. Don’t I need to see the baby?,” replied the woman. Ignoring her question, Manju handed over the ticket to Kottayam.
Manju, a conductor in Kottayam bus depot explained that many aged passengers are travelling in the bus amid the pandemic outbreak.
“Actually, lady conductors identify such issues easily,” said a lady conductor at Kottayam depot.
“Lady conductors take special attention in every matter. We insist every passenger to wear mask, use sanitizer and keep safe distance from the co-passengers,” they added.
“We will be safe during the duty if each passenger is adhering to the COVID-19 protocol. We are afraid while going for duty. But we have to go for duty at any cost. Hence, if passengers neglect the preventive measures, we will be in big trouble,” said another conductor Sindhu.
In Kottayam, over 100 lady bus conductors are employed under KSRTC. They interact with more than 600 people in the bus per day. When people are careless to follow the COVID-19 protocol, the conductors need to be strict for the sake of everyone’s safety.
As the panic on the coronavirus continues, the conductors are keen to ensure their safety.
“Though, we get mask from office, we purchase masks at our own expense. Unfortunately, when we are strictly following the norms, some youngsters are seen eating peanuts by removing their mask during the bus journey. It reveals that they are not bothered about the virus. Some people are still counting the currency by using saliva. In such case, most of us do not receive money from them,” a conductor explained about the passengers who ignore the seriousness of the disease.
At the same time, the conductors are happy that they don’t need to take long distance trips. But they point out that they are facing chances of infection due to the use of public toilets.
“We are afraid to use the public toilet while taking trip to the nearest district. Carelessly abandoned sanitary pads and masks make the toilets more unhygienic to use,” the lady conductors raised concern on their safety.
When the number of COVID-19 cases are increasing in the state, the bus conductors are appealing to the public to avoid unnecessary journeys.