Using Our Name, Not Doing Anything for Us: Chowkidars of Barabanki
Chowkidar may have become a buzzword in Indian politics, but does anyone listen to the plight of real chowkidars? The Quint reached Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki to speak to them and gauge their sentiment.
These chowkidars, who work in around 30-35 villages in Fatehpur and Barabanki, are also farmers.
Complaining about their condition, Dheeraj says in a statement laced with sarcasm, "Yes, indeed it is a golden period. We are doing well. So well that we are getting Rs 50 per day. That is our gold and silver. That’s our living. If we don’t do farming, we will starve. No government has listened to us."
He said only the Mulayam Singh Yadav government had provided them some relief.
Ram Shanker supported this statement, saying that they were doing all the work for Rs 50 a day and that no one was paying any heed to their problems. "You are saying that the chowkidar is very hardworking and you are using our name and roaming the country but not doing anything for us," he said.
On being asked why he had taken up the job, a new joinee said that it was out of helplessness. He added that they were getting no benefit from the government and whatever they earned was spent on fertilisers and agricultural equipment.
Another chowkidar said that he had joined the job with high hopes. "When this government was formed we thought that we will make more money. Our salaries will increase. That is what we thought when we had applied for this job," he said.
One person said that they had not even received the first instalment of the Rs 6,000 promised by PM Modi.