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Food delivery agents fail to earn enough money for masks and gloves
Though the government has allowed online food delivery services to function in the State during restricted hours, it is not going well for the delivery agents as their income has been reduced drastically.
Agents said that number of orders has gone down significantly as many hotels are closed due to COVID-19 outbreak in the country. “My income has been reduced by 50 per cent due to lockdown.
I have been using the same mask for the past 10 days. It is not viable for me to buy mask frequently and manage my family with the mere income of Rs 400 per day,” said Jayakumar, a delivery agent with Swiggy.
Most of the agents working in the city can be seen using handkerchiefs instead of masks and they don’t either wear gloves. This is risking their health and the custmers, too. Noting that he used to make around Rs 800 to Rs 900 per day, Jayakumar said, “Many hotels are shut and daily orders have also gone down since the public is afraid to buy food from outside. When the government allowed food delivery again, the companies stopped incentives and bonuses for working during peak hours.”
Hariprasad, a resident of Kolathur, who works as Zomato delivery agent, said, “We get a maximum of Rs 40 per order during the lockdown. Adding to that orders are rare. I deliver up to 10 orders maximum even if I work the whole day.”
Since hotels are allowed to operate only for takeaways, the delivery time has also been reduced. “I used to order Briyani from an established food chain near Triplicane. It would take 40 minutes to deliver. But now, I get food in 20 to 25 minutes,” said Rajesh, a resident of Saidapet.
Delivery agents, who spoke to DT Next, said that people should tip them generously as it is a difficult period for all of them. “If I get a five-star rating from a customer, the company give me an extra five rupees. We are not forcing anyone to tip us. If they can’t tip, at least they can give us a good rating,” Hariprasad added.