Countries run on wheels
Where do they belong❓ With ever-changing places to rest their heads, itâ€™s hard to call one fixed place as their homes. They spend most of their time away from their families. The plights that they face on the road are their chores. It won't be an exaggeration to say that trucks and truck drivers run a country. If there weren't any trucks, the country will come to a seeming halt. The grocery stores will run out of supplies, the supply of drinkable water will get short, food shortages will occur, hospitals will soon run out of essential supplies, et cetera. Without trucks and truck drivers even the waste that humans generate will stay in the cities making them a breeding ground of diseases. But when have any of us stopped and thought about the respect or concern they deserve❓
Addressing the apathy towards our truck drivers:
They don❛t get enough praise or facilities either by us or the government. In 24 hours of a day, there isn❛t a single minute where we do not use something delivered on trucks. A bar of soap, a mattress, even a something as small as a grain of salt.
More than often we see an overturned truck, a truck with broken axel or spilled cargo causing a traffic jam oh the highway. We associate dhabas with truck drivers in India. These dhabas are more than meals for these truck drivers. Many truck drivers at the dhabas are out of adversity; either they have empty pockets or broken-down trucks. This is a problem that can be solved by having more pit stops and facilities at exit points from the government. Unfortunately, these solvable problems have not been solved yet.
How the pandemic highlighted their importance:
If there weren❛t any truck drivers, the country will come to a seeming halt. We saw a preview of this during the lockdown in pandemic 2020. When more than half of the country❛s truck drivers either got stuck on the road or stopped because of the low demands. We understood the importance of moving essential commodities. Many truck drivers who were carrying non-essential goods got stranded on the road because they couldn❛t cross state borders. Many truck drivers were forced to survive without food and only water. The recovery was slow even after the lockdown was lifted because many of them went to their native places.
While they sure do deserve more respect and compensation, first we need to focus on making their lives on the road safer and comfortable. Truck drivers are the backbone of any logistics company. These companies are trying to equip their drivers with technology like GPS and benefits like insurance. With the technology, we may have streamlined the trucking operations but the life on the road is still hard. And the lack of pit stops and facilities by the government makes it even harder.