General notion about a porter is that s/he is a person who lifts the luggage at bus stations, at railway stations, in hotels, and in mountains. But official definition of a porter is wider. For example,
The Himachal Pradesh Climbing / Trekking Porters (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1977 defines porter as a person who does manual, skilled, or unskilled work to assist the peak climbing or trekking expeditions visiting the state. And s/he works for a remuneration. (Section 2-d)
However, a person who does clerical or managerial jobs and a medical attendant assisting the expeditions are not called porters. They maybe employees of a travel agency or tour operator. (Section 2)
What is Skill?
Skill is a combination of know-how and knowledge required to solve problems and do tasks.
What is Manual Work?
The manual work is a work
- that does not require formal education.
- that involves physical work, for example, loading and unloading of goods.
- That generally involves non-mechanical tasks.
What is Unskilled Work?
An unskilled work is a work
- that requires low level of education and skills.
- that neither requires special technical education nor prior experience. For example, carrying rucksack of a trekker or mountaineer, helping in camping chores- assisting in kitchen, cleaning, serving food, and / or fetching water.
- that includes repetitive and menial tasks.
- that is simple to do.
- that does not involve independent decision making.
- that contributes less economic value.
- for which workers earn relatively less wages.
What is Skilled Work?
A skilled work is a work
- that requires expertise in one craft, industry, or trade. For example, work done by an accountant, a store keeper, a heavy vehicle driver, a plumber, a physician, a cook…
- that needs higher education and special skills, including ability to think.
- that is difficult and therefore requires independent decision making skills.
- that has high economic value.
- for which workers are relatively paid high wages.
3 Classes of Porters
The Section 6 of the act divides porters into three classes:
|Porter Class||Job Description|
|A||Serves at any altitude.|
|B||Serves up to 5,758 meters / 19,000 feet|
|C||Serves up to 4,091 meters / 13,500 feet|