Dhenkanal: Truck driving is not all about livelihood for the villagers of Biradia based in lush green surroundings on the Dhenkanal-Kapilash road. The village is known as ‘Krushnakumarpur’ in records of the Revenue department. However, it is popularly known as ‘truckers’ village’ in the state. The spiritual thoughts of the villagers and their efforts to promote safe driving have given them a special status in Odisha. The village usually wears a deserted look.
However, it is abuzz with activities during holidays, festivals, religious functions and fairs. The drivers of the village, who are most of the time away for duty, return to their homes during these periods. They spend time with their family members, friends and covillagers before getting back to the wheels to return to their work place. The life of a truck driver is not easy as hard times and struggles are permanent components of the job.
However, they have learnt to become self-reliant and earn their livelihoods due to their profession. Septuagenarian Bhramarbar Nayak is the first driver from the village. The village boasts of having more than 160 truck drivers and all because of Bhramarbar’s efforts. Bhramarabar learnt driving from Brusingha Pattnaik, a native of Bali in Cuttack district in 1970.
Later, he trained many youths in the village to become drivers and earn their livelihood. It is due to the efforts of Bhramarbar that every family in Biradia village has produced at least two to three drivers. From meagre daily earnings, most of them now get Rs 300 or more per day by driving trucks. Bhramarbar however, now has quit the profession due to old age. Road accidents often occur due to consumption of intoxicants by the driver.
However, the drivers of Biradia village are an example for others to emulate. They stay away from liquor due to their inclination towards spirituality. They meticulously follow rules while driving safely. As a result, the families also lead peaceful lives, said Bhimasen Sahu, another driver who resides in the village. Even though truck driving is an arduous profession, Bijay Samal, 52, said that by taking up the profession he has been able to provide proper education to his children. His only son is working as an assistant engineer in a Dubai-based aluminum firm. Samal said that responsibility towards his family prompts him to drive safely. He knows that his kin are waiting at home and so he drives following rules meticulously.