Boatmen reeling under financial crisis

June 09, 2021 06:08 PM

Prayagraj, June 9 (Agency) : Around 75% of the city's 3,000 boatmen, who make their living by serving to pilgrims and other visitors at Sangam and other ghats, are having difficulty arranging two square meals a day. Despite the relaxation of restrictions on June 1, Sangam still receives relatively few tourists, putting the boatmen community in a bind.  “Although the district authorities have authorised plying of boats while assuring adherence to Covid procedure since June 1, the boatmen community is still struggling under a financial crisis in the absence of visitors,” Pappu Nishad, president of the Navik Sangh of Prayagraj district, said.

“Devotees from neighbouring states and southern states, who used to come Sangam every year, are nowhere to be found because of the Covid scare,” he continued. The boatmen of Prayagraj relied exclusively on them for their livelihood.” “The number of Sangam tourists would not increase till trains start plying to religious destinations such as Prayagraj. The boatmen at Sangam, in addition to being in debt, may be on the verge of hunger if the scenario continues,” Nishad remarked. Around 1,500 boats are permitted to operate on Sangam, with at least two boatmen working on each vessel. Only five individuals are allowed to sit on a single boat, and the usage of a mask and sanitizer, as well as following the Covid procedure, are required.



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