Cars were meant to be used to transport people. But is it normal to say that people used to transport cars, on foot?
Nepalese Dhan Bahadur Gole, 92, is a living evidence that this is a normal happening back in the days.
Gole is a porter, someone who transports vehicles traveling across mountains to kings and rulers in Kathmandu. He is the last man standing among his generation of porters.
Before there were highways built in the Himalayas, paved roads can only be found in the capital city. In order for the rulers, then the Rana Dynasty in the late 1950’s, to have their luxury cars transported, they need the porters for the job.
Gole said that he was 20 when he started doing his job as a porter. His father was then a farmer and a collector of taxes on behalf of the Ranas.
As a porter, Gole will start as early as 5AM where he tie logs together and put up a bamboo stretcher for the vehicle. The cargo will be lifted on their shoulders along with 63 other porters. They begin walking together in a 5-week journey across mountains and rivers.
In his job, he earns around 25 rupees every month or $0.25. Because of this he was able to save up and build a house for his family.
Sadly, Gole’s porter job ended when Tribhuvan Highway was constructed. It connected the Kathmandu valley with the southern town of Birgunj, which was near India border.
Despite that, Gole said that everything is better for them now because they have electricity, water, and food.