More than 10 months on, he's still out of work. The reason: several people had stopped accepting newspapers fearing the coronavirus infection.
"At the crack of dawn, I used to reach the Pannarpolu railway station daily. Once newspapers were unloaded from the morning train, I tied them on my cycle, my trusty companion for nearly one and a half decades, before heading off," Abdur says.
Be it cold or rain, beating all odds, Abdur would ensure that newspapers were delivered at the doorsteps of people daily. "From Bakhrabad Gas Field and Jahapur Zamindar Bari to Alirchar College, Borarchar, and Kalakandi markets, I used to cover 40km daily."
At the end of every month, Abdur would knock on the doors of his customers to collect payment to buy the next month's essentials. "Believe me, in 14 years I did not miss a single day of work. But now I have no work, and that's what I miss," he says.
Indeed, after the coronavirus outbreak, a national lockdown was imposed. And the lockdown hit the newspaper distribution hard. Readers across the country soon stopped buying newspapers fearing the spread of the infection.
“I have always enjoyed and taken pride in my job, delivering news at the doorsteps of readers to make their day complete. Now, I have become news myself. Despite scientists vouching for the sterility of newsprints, readers are still apprehensive," Abdur says.
With no work for more than 10 months now, Abdur claims, poverty has pushed his family to the brink of starvation. His two daughters, a son, wife and elderly parents, are all dependent on him.
"Forget fish and meat. Dal-bhaat (rice & pulses) are now a luxury for us. Being disabled, I am literally struggling to ensure two square meals a day for my family. In the past 10 months, I couldn't even buy milk for my two-year-old child," he says.
Abdur wants immediate government support. "It's a question of survival. The government must step in and support disabled people like me, who don't have jobs but have families to support," he adds.