However, things started to look up when Yusuf came to know about “essential services” that were allowed to operate by the government at the time. He soon bought and sold vegetables with a friend; He made himself a freight carrier, started buying produce at wholesale prices from Jadhavwadi market and started carrying goods to the corners of Aurangabad city. It was hard work, but the much needed income started coming in.
Man rides horse to work amid fuel price hike
Months later, restrictions were eased to allow some people to return to work. Yusuf got a call YB Chavan College of Pharmacy – He needed his lab assistant. Before global pandemic, Yusuf had a rusty old bike for the hour-long commute to work. But the world around him had changed – the price of petrol had gone up (it is now Rs 111 for a liter), his savings were hit, public transport was unavailable and there was still no one to service the falling vehicle. The garage was not open. Separate. “I didn’t know how to go to work. Then I remembered the horse.”
Maharashtra man rides horse to work amid fuel price hike
- The surge in fuel prices in the last two years has hit people across the country. Now, to deal with it, a Maharashtra man went kind of backwards in time—choosing a horse as his mode of transport.
- After the lockdown was clamped amid the coronavirus pandemic, and public transport was stopped, Shaikh Yusuf from Aurangabad got himself a horse called Jigar. A video shared by ANI showed him riding the horse on busy streets alongside cars and motorcycles.
- “I bought it during the lockdown. My bike wasn’t functioning, petrol prices had gone up,” the man told news agency ANI about the horse he purchased for Rs 40,000. Yusuf, who works as a lab assistant at a local college, said the mode of transport works even after the lockdown was lifted and the steep rise in petrol prices. “It keeps one fit and healthy. Also, given the rise in fuel prices, horse as a mode of transport is a feasible option,” Yusuf added.
- As the video started doing rounds on social media it garnered a lot of attention online, leaving many confused. While some joked that it gives the feeling of time travel, others wondered if maintaining the animal was as cost-effective as Yusuf claimed. Some also argued that it was not right to use a horse as a mode of transport and dubbed it as “animal cruelty” and others wondered why he didn’t choose a bicycle.
A relative had a horse for sale for Rs 40,000 and Yusuf used to ride as a child. He sold his rusty bike, made some savings, scheduled a monthly installment with a relative and some negotiations later, in May 2020, brought home ‘Jigar’, a beautiful, dark horse of the Kathiawadi breed. Yusuf’s workplace is 16 km away; Jigar was bred to cross the desert. The four-year-old was perfect for Joseph and his bag. Within days, Joseph became known as “the horseman” – the children smiled at him. He kept the liver on the side of the road, kept safe from moving traffic. Even the police busy in the settlement did not pay much attention to him. “Sometimes I was stopped, I told them I was taking her out to graze.” Today, after three years, the sight of Jigar and Yusuf is made amidst all the cars, buses and bikes that have returned to the streets of Aurangabad. Every day, he and his youngest son get up early to groom the horse. Exactly at 8.30 he leaves. The principal of the pharmacy college allows Jigar a store room in the building, where he is kept along with some fodder. Yusuf goes to give her some water, checks if she is comfortable and at the end of the shift, the two are back home.