Coolie

coolie railways porters Bombay
 Santanu Misra / May 9, 2009
288 words ; 2 minutes read

These people in red shirts are commonly known as “coolie” or porters who are commonly seen at Indian Railway Station. They remind me of those childhood days when they were part of our vacation (mass aviation is still in infancy at India). They help to carry big over sized luggage that Indian travelers travel with. As Indian travelers are not that physically fit like westerners to lift their own luggage. Coolies are not permanent employee of railways but have a long and strong working relation with them. They get lots of benefits from railways like medical, schooling for their kids and etc. Their recruitment process is very complex and I am not an expert to write on details. What I know is their badges can be transferred between family members and the definition of family members is very vague. This often results in badge being auctioned between 5,00,000 to 20,00,000 INR( 10K-40K USD).

Their working wage according to railway rule book is very minimal; through which they will not be able to sustain themselves or their family. So there is little bit of negotiations between coolie and travelers. Most of the time they are like moving timetable of Indian railways, you can cross check for platform number, coach position for your train and they will guide you to the right place at right time.

Going down the memory lane there is a famous Mohmohan Desai’s movie by same name acted by none other but Amitabh Bachan in Hindi at 80s. The movie is very close to Bachan fans as he had a near death situation while performing a stunt for this. Whole India was gripped by this news and the movie release was eagerly anticipated by his fans.

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