Peddapalli: That Covid-19 has played havoc with the livelihood of millions of people across the world in a matter of few months is an established fact, but one section that has been particularly hard hit has been the teaching community. There are any number of cases of teachers, lecturers and even professors turning labourers, drivers or even taking to selling vegetable or fruits on the roadside for sheer survival.
Maddunala Mallesham, a lecturer who holds a post graduate degree in commerce, is one such person who opted to work as an autorickshaw trolley driver, earning between Rs 300 to Rs 400 per day by transporting goods to nearby villages.
Mallesham, a native of Khilawanaparthi of Dharmaram mandal, completed his post-graduation from Kakatiya University in 2009 and took up a job as commerce lecturer in Swamy Vivekananda Degree College, Dharmaram, the same year for a salary of Rs 13,000. His wife Latha, who works as Vidya Volunteer in Khilawanaparthi school, was drawing a salary of Rs 12,000.
The couple, with two sons, led a fairly decent and happy life till coronavirus struck the world. While Mallesham has not been paid salary since May following the lockdown, Latha drew her last salary in February. Even before stopping the salary completely, the college management imposed 50 per cent salary cut for March and April. “Everything came crumbling down on our family. With our’s being an inter-caste marriage, there was no help forthcoming from the families either,” Mallesham told Telangana Today.
Desperate to feed four mouths, Mallesham began looking for odd jobs, anything that would provide some succour for the family. “While I was searching for a job, my younger brother, who purchased a new autorickshaw trolley, offered his old trolley to me. Without a second thought, I said okay despite the fact that I didn’t know autorickshaw driving,” he said, adding that with the help of one his students, he learnt to drive the vehicle.
“I started transporting goods to surrounding villages from Dharmaram and Velgatur mandals, and I now earn between Rs 300 to Rs 400 a day,” he said, adding that for the time being, he intends to continue with supply of goods, and would take a call on teaching as and when the situation improves.
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