Guwahati: Even during this lockdown, with various economic activities on a shutdown mode, few services remain functioning, without which normal life will be paralysed. One such is goods trains that transport essential commodities, medicines and petroleum, among others, within the states.
“My job starts from 6 am and goes on till 6 pm,” said Dilip Kumar Labh, the station master of Barpeta Road railway station in Assam, who ensures that such trains run smoothly amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Although he has a regular duty for 8 hours, it was raised to 12 hours owing to the current situation, he added.
Although there are no passengers and no one is even allowed to go beyond the ticket counter, the station needs to be fully sanitized all the time. “Our chambers are sanitized daily and no one is even allowed to enter the rooms unless it’s a matter of great importance,” said Labh.
The scary part, according to the station master, is not his duty but the fact that he needs to go back home every day wearing the ‘contaminated’ clothes. “Back at home, I have set up an outdoor make-shift dressing room where I take off the clothes that I wear during the day, then get sanitized, have a bath, and only then I enter the house,” he said, adding, “I have to do my work as it’s my duty but I do not want my work to be the cause of worry.”
There are no passengers eve in the goods trains, hence the entire station wears a desolate look. This is depressing at times, said Labh. To cope up with this emptiness, Labh pens down poems, as he is a lover of poetry. He shared one of such ‘corona’ poems that he wrote last week with EastMojo.
Labh has also been coaching many students for the Staff Selection Examination (SSE) in the railway department. But due to the lockdown, the classes had had to be canceled; so he tries his best to provide necessary information to his students via WhatsApp.