The Story of Delhi Auto Drivers

The auto drivers of Delhi are infamously known for swindling passengers by overcharging fares and temperamental disposition towards their preferred destinations and subsequent refusals to ferry riders. However, some of them have a different side of the story to tell. Most of them do not own these autos, instead they are rented out to them for a daily charge of about 500 Rupee ($9) in Delhi and 300 ($5.5) around the outer regions of Delhi. On a usual day, they make anywhere between 500 to 1,000 rupee ($9 to $17) per day as profit. On top of this, they have to bare the brunt of additional expenses in case they meet with an accident or get pulled over by a traffic cop.

These factors leave little money left with them, and they can kiss goodbye to even that amount if they call in sick. Most of them have a family to feed including wife and kids, and increasingly they are sending their kids to government run schools. Moreover, most of these drivers are migrant workers from different parts of the country, so they have to rent out a place to live, which adds additional burden. These factors drive their desire to earn more at any cost, by hook or crook. Although, a good number of them would still be honest, but, when a person lives on the edge with a family waiting at home to be taken care of, it wouldn’t take much to acquire some notoriety. If we think they are the masters of thievery, it goes much deeper and beyond them.

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