No classes, Punjab students toil in fields to help parents

No classes, Punjab students toil in fields to help parents

Sukhwinder Singh (right) transplants paddy in Phillaur. Tribune photo

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12

Phillaur-based Sukhwinder Singh, a BSc (Non-medical) student, was preparing for his final semester exams when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the lockdown was imposed.

Now, he is working as a labourer and transplanting paddy seedlings in fields. After the pandemic affected the earning source of his family, Sukhwinder, son of a labourer, thought of helping out his father by starting work in the fields. Otherwise, he had planned to move abroad to pursue a diploma course after graduation.

“Everyone was surprised when they saw me working in the fields,” he said. “I don’t think that this is something that should be looked down upon. I am proud of it as I am doing it for my father and family,” said Sukhwinder, who has so far earned Rs 9,000.

Belonging to Kadiana village in Phillaur, Sukhwinder also went to work in other villages like Nagar and Hashnoor. “I had never imagined that I would work like this. I am happy that I could help my family,” he said.

Ajay Kumar is another youth from the village who started working in farms due to the pandemic-induced slump. He passed Class XII two years ago and was planning to pursue a course in the Industrial Training Institute, Nawanshahr. His father is a small farmer who owns two acres. “I worked in fields of other farmers to earn and support my family,” said Kumar.

Paramjit Kaur, who quit as a mid-day meal cook at a government school even before the lockdown was imposed, is also working as a labourer along with her husband, who was earlier employed with a private company.

“We were in dire straits due to the lockdown. So, we had to work anywhere to earn money so that our daughters could study. Recently, my husband got a call from the company he was working with and I hope he will rejoin it soon,” she said.