‘No work is too low or undignified’

‘No work is too low or undignified’
Ashamo Patton


Ashamo Patton who works as a porter in Wokha town says any job is dignified so long as one works with honesty


Morung Express News
Wokha | September 10


Meet Ashamo Patton, inarguably the first porter (or coolie in colonial moniker) of the Lotha community from Wokha town. Previously a driver by profession, Ashamo changed his vocation in 2015 after realizing the job of a porter could actually earn him more.


A rare sight in Nagaland where a porter is looked down upon as a menial and undignified job, Ashamo, hailing from Pangti village can be seen happily carrying out his assigned duties of carrying a sack of rice, a cylinder o a bag of vegetables to different destinations in and around Wokha town.


Ashamo said he was previously employed as a driver with a doctor in Wokha town. While waiting for the doctor outside his clinic, Ashamo one day decided to do some chores in his free time and earn instead of sitting idle.


So he began facilitating with loading and unloading of goods from vehicles, deliver rice bags, gas cylinders, vegetables etc of customers to their home and earn.


Realizing that the job as a full time porter could earn him more, Ashamo quit his job as a driver and became a full-fledged porter in Wokha town. In comparison, as a driver, Ashamo was paid Rs 5000 as monthly salary. Now he earns at least Rs 10,500 a month.


On an average, I earn Rs 350 a day. During good days, Rs 800-900 or on mean days-Rs 30-40, it all depends,” Ashamo revealed. His phone number is on the contact list of many citizens of Wokha town- which means his service is just a phone call away.


Being as humble as his job is, Ashamo says he has never demanded a price for the job he does. “Till today, I have taken what my customers pay me without any complaint,” he claims adding, “I just tell them give me your wish.”


What the customer pays him is enough to send provide food to his family and send his three children to school. Ashamo has studied till class 12 and realize the importance of education. His eldest is studying in class-9 in a government high school. The youngest is in class-b while the middle is in class-6.


“I don’t mind what others may think of what I do. I am satisfied and therefore I am happy,” is the venerable words from this unassuming humble porter from Pangti village.


Before Ashamo joined the profession as a porter, the job was dominated by the Non Nagas, mostly from Bihar. Now there are three more from the Lotha community who are following the footstep of Ashamo to work as porters. They joined the profession only three days back, Ashamo said.


“They contacted me through phone to enquire about the nature of the job and ask how much I was earning. After I told them everything, they have become full-fledged porters,” he stated.


Proudly announcing the first new batch of porters from own community as Nribemo from Phiro village, Chenithung from Longsa village and Thungchamo from Mungya village, he said no job is too low or undignified so long as one work with honesty.


Ashamo revealed that he has also been campaigning in the surrounding villages of Wokha town, asking people, especially those unemployed, to join him in working as a porter in the town.