As lockdown restrictions continue in many sectors, a driving school association in Kerala has approached the state government, asking it to ease some restriction. Driving school is one of the few sectors that has not been granted lockdown relaxations yet.
“With about three months of being completely shut down, both employers and employees associated with the driving school sector in Kerala are going through a tough time, including non-payment of salaries,” said Ravindran, the vice-president of All Kerala Motor Driving School Association, which has 600 driving schools under it. According to its members, there are over 3,000 driving school centres in the state.
Last week, representatives of the association met Kerala’s Minister for Transport AK Saseendran to raise their concerns. The members have asked the government to either give restricted relaxations or to consider granting financial aids to the members.
“Though operations are shut, we still have to give vehicle tax and insurance charges. We have asked the government to consider giving us waivers in these charges and also to allow us small financial loans, which will help us sustain the situation,” said Ravindran, who is also the councillor at Kollam Corporation.
Some of the employers also raised concerns that they are facing difficulty in paying their staff. “During the first month, we were able to pay our staff their salary. I was not able to pay my staff for the month of May. There should be some immediate intervention,” Milan, owners of a driving school firm in Kochi, told TNM.
“We held protests in front of most district administrations last week in small groups of six or seven members. In Thiruvananthapuram, after our protest in front of the Secretariat, we met Minister Saseendran and submitted our concerns. He said he will consider our requests. We are waiting for a positive reply from him,” said Ravindran.
“We understand the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and we have had no complaints so far. But now, we cannot continue to sustain like this. We need at least restricted relaxation, which we are ready to abide by,” he added.