Prasanna’s home is his Rickshaw


PRASANNA SABAR has been pulling a rickshaw for more than 30 years in Raipur. He  never had the means to rent a roof in the city. He comes from the Sanmaheswar village in Nupada district of Odisha.  He earns a few thousand, returns to his village and family for a few days and again back in city. He earns Rs 100 – 300 every day. Of this, he spends around Rs 110 on meals. So, over a third of his earnings on a good day –and 100 percent on a bad one- is spent for basic survival. When he earns a little more, he buys liquor worth Rs 60.  But it is not an everyday affair.

“A few years ago I drank with fellow migrants and became an ALCOHOLC and gambler thereafter. I fell ill and my family had to come and rescue me with 3000 rupees borrowed from the villagers. I learnt a lesson and have been careful ever since.”

Thousands of other Odias like Prasanna have migrated to Raipur after major droughts in state since the 1960s. Most have settled, over generations, in slums on both sides of the railway tracks and in nearby colonies. But PRASANNA was the first in his tribal family to come to the city.