Pune: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) auto-rickshaw union has demanded COVID-warrior status for auto-rickshaw drivers with an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs and a complete loan waiver on lines of that given to farmers.
AAP led action committee – Rickshaw Taxi Kranti Samyukta Kriti Samiti – has organised a protest in the state from Sunday (August 9) on the occasion of August Kranti Diwas. Auto rickshaw owners and drivers are going on a hunger strike to draw the attention of the state government to their problems.
The protests will be held at District and Deputy Collector Offices, Tehsildar Offices, Regional and Sub Regional Transport Offices and other government offices. The protests will be led by Kranti Samiti's in charge Kasam Mulani, Shrikant Acharya, Trimbak Swamy, D.M.Gosavi and Ashwini More. Anand Ankush, member of the organising committee has been informed about these protests through a press statement.
In the statement, Anand Ankush says, “The government has been informed about the crisis that has befallen more than 20 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers and owners in the state during the lockdown. The current three-wheeler government is not serious about 20 lakh auto rickshaw drivers-owners who depend on the auto-rickshaw business alone.”
Anand Ankush has also stated the five main demands being put forward to the government during the protests. The committee has demanded that each auto-rickshaw driver should be given Rs 5000 by the government. Besides this, the government should provide assistance of minimum Rs 10 lakhs immediately to each family of auto-rickshaw drivers who have committed suicide.
“Auto-rickshaw drivers should get a complete loan waiver like farmers. Auto-rickshaw drivers should be declared as ‘COVID Warriors’ and insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs should be declared for them. The government should announce the implementation of a welfare board for auto-rickshaw drivers immediately,” the committee members have demanded in the statement.