The taxi driver who set himself on fire and killed himself last week has been overwhelmed by a series of setbacks, his brother said.
Deeply in debt and unable to pay off his vehicle’s NDEs, 32-year-old Pratap Kumar K sprayed himself with kerosene and set himself on fire in his car at Kempegowda International Airport on March 30. He died of his injuries on March 31.
A resident of Tumbenahalli near Ramanagara, Pratap died around 2 a.m. in the burns department at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru.
Friends say the past year has been devastating for him. “With fuel and vehicle maintenance costs rising and a family of four to feed, Pratap has struggled to make ends meet. He hasn’t even been able to pay the rent on his house, ”says Tanveer Pasha, president of the Ola Uber Drivers ‘& Owners’ Association.
Pratap had also taken out personal and personal loans. “The exorbitant 5-10 percent monthly interest meant he was trapped in a vicious cycle of debt. He would receive calls from banks and private lenders threatening to seize his car, ”Pasha said. Metrolife.
“He was a hard worker and was attached to the KSTDC airport taxi service. Travel was very rare. There were days when he would wait all day and come home empty-handed and some other days he could only travel after waiting 14 hours, ”Pasha says.
“He always had friends who helped him get his card back with a minimum balance so he could go on a trip. His daily existence was difficult, ”he adds.
Pratap is the youngest of three children. His older brothers Pradeep (36) and Dilip (34) lost their jobs. His father Krishnappa and his mother Susheelamma, both in their sixties, are farmers.
“Pratap was the only winning member. We live on the meager income we earn from farming and selling milk. It barely meets our daily needs, ”said Pradeep. Metrolife, still choked with grief as he spoke.
Pradeep knew that Pratap was in debt and managed to help him by borrowing from various sources.
“We knew he had loans to compensate, but it was beyond our ability. We also knew he was having problems at his workplace and was under pressure, ”Pradeep recalls.
Her parents, especially her mother, have yet to figure out what happened.
“He never spoke about his problems when he visited. The house brightened up every time he came. He has always supported the weak, ”he adds.
Pradeep says Pratap started driving when he was 18. “Even though he didn’t have a lot of trips, he never wanted to look for another job because driving was his passion,” Pradeep sums up.
He did not hesitate to express himself
Taxi mates claim that the KSTDC and airport officials have driven Pratap to the brink by denying him the job.
Ramesh Gowda, president of the Kempegowda International Airport Taxi Drivers and Owners Welfare Association, said Pratap would not hesitate to speak up. “He would always stand up for the weak and fight for justice. Pratap has been targeted by officials who never missed an opportunity to harass him by blocking his entry card, ”says Ramesh. “It’s not just the story of Pratap. Many taxi drivers attached to the KSTDC do not travel and are heavily in debt, without government assistance, ”he said. KSTDC officials did not respond to calls for Metrolife.