Sumon Mia (42) had nurtured only one dream – to buy a pickup truck – for the last 15 years, while he had been driving other people's trucks.
Although it was difficult for him to bear his family's expenses, he resolutely saved some money from his income over the last three years to achieve his goal.
He was even determined to sell his village land and borrow some money to buy the pickup truck at the end of this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic has ruined his plan as he lost his job and has been struggling just to survive.
"I had a job at a private company. After the novel coronavirus started spreading in Bangladesh in March, the company sacked me, and I have been jobless since then," Sumon said.
He had to spend over Tk20,000 every month, while he had no income. This drained all the money he saved up in the last three years.
"My family, comprising six members, had been living in Dhaka for 20 years, but I had to send them back to my village district, Bhola, last month as I am not able to spend any money on them," he said.
"My son is a second-grader at Haider Ali School in the capital's Mugda area. Now he is at my village home. He is not in touch with any learning activities and his future education is also uncertain," he said.
Sumon said he had a vision of becoming solvent and living with joy and happiness, but he was not prepared for the situation that was created by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"I went to many companies and owners of pickup trucks, cars and trucks to get a job. But they told me that they were planning to cut existing jobs, so I am still jobless. I do not know what is actually waiting for me," he said.
Blaming his luck for his condition, Sumon said, "I tried to go abroad in 2013 to change my fate, but I was cheated by a manpower agency and lost a good amount of money. Now, I have lost my savings, which I was planning to spend on buying a pickup truck."
Sumon said he has not received any help from governmental or non-governmental organisations, and a good number of other jobless drivers have been living in misery without help from any quarter.
"Now I wait at the Mugda truck stand to get a temporary job – which can be a trip to some place or driving a vehicle for some hours. Sometimes I get one, but most of the time I do not find anything to do. I am trying to get some money to survive in Dhaka alone," he added.
"I told my family members to borrow some money from my relatives for daily expenses as I am now unable to give a single penny to them," he continued.
Sumon said currently he is not worrying about buying a pickup truck, but is concerned about the future of his family members.
"How will my son go to school if I am not able to earn money? My parents are suffering due to old-age related complications. I do not know what I will do," he said.
"I did everything – from working as a labourer to driving. My life was not smooth but I tried to get rid of poverty. Now I assume that I will have to live in poverty," said Sumon because he cannot picture a better future for himself.