Nitish Kumar’s policies for a struggle with labour participation rate at 38%, daily wage workers in Bihar blame demonetisation

45-year-old Dayanand Kumar boards the train at 3.30 every morning from Jahanabad — 60 kilometres from Patna. He does not buy a ticket. Hanging by the door in a packed coach, he reaches Patna in 2 hours. The train takes an unusual halt at the railway crossing under the Sipara Bridge in the city before entering the station. And hundreds of passengers de-board from either side. “The motorman knows we travel without a ticket,” says Dayanand. “Else, if the train does not show signs of slowing down, someone pulls the chain.

Dayanand says he normally got work 15-20 days a month at Rs 250-300 per day, but it reduced since November 2016. “Notebandi wrecked our lives,” he says. “For a year after the decision, we hardly got 4 to 5 days of work a month. The contractors did not have money to pay. Most of the informal sector was destroyed.”

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