DU college canteens were once a hub of fun and activities, always bustling with people. However, after this lockdown, the canteens lie empty leaving their managers and workers in severe financial crisis. These people have lost their source of income without which their futures are uncertain. Many of such canteen managers and staff have settled to work as laborers amidst this grim situation and economic struggle.
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Ritesh Wadhwa and his father used to run the canteen at the College of Vocational Studies (CVS) for seven years. Thus, they were content with their work and never looked for any backup. But, after the shutdown for more than a year, the Wadhwa duo is facing enormous problems. The son drives an Uber motorcycle which is barely sufficient to survive.
Wadhwa explains that he tried his best to keep nine of his workers employed and even paid them a salary for three months after the shutdown. But, even his own situation deteriorated and he has to work 12-13 hours per day only to earn 300-500.
Kapil Panwar, the canteen manager at Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Science is also suffering now. 18 of his workers returned to their villages due to the unavailability of work. Also, he has been sitting at homes since 6 months and all of his saving is over. Brijesh Kumar worked in Kirorimal College canteen for 2 years. But, during this pandemic, he works as a daily wage laborer. Thus, the economic condition of workers at DU college canteens has deteriorated tremendously with no future hopes.
The DU teachers’ association has written to the University Grants Commission on assisting the contract workers. Thus, additional aid should be given to the contract workers who worked at colleges. This way the DU college canteen workers can get some help to sustain themselves.
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