Chennai

Delivering food, veggies on time, while braving risks during COVID-19 lockdown

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh

As many of Chennai’s residents stay indoors, it is delivery executives who continue to bring in food and groceries

Thirty-seven-year old R. Pannerselvam starts his day early, finishes his chores, packs his mask and hand sanitizer and gears up for taking the first food delivery order. He cautiously collects every food parcel, checks if it is neatly packed and heads out to deliver each order. After delivering each order, he disinfects his hands.

“Yes, there is some fear deep inside that I may contract an infection. But I continue to work for two reasons — to earn my daily bread and to help people in the city in little ways like delivering their meal on time during such challenging times,” says Mr. Pannerselvam, a delivery executive with a popular food delivery app in the city.

As the city’s residents have cautiously remained indoors, food, vegetable and other groceries delivery executives assume more significance now.

Many of them patiently wait outside restaurants, groceries and vegetable stores to fetch essentials every single day. “On several occasions, I deliver to many living in hostels and mansions and some senior citizens as well,” he says.

Many of them say, before each delivery, they check with the customers if the bags need to be left at the doorstep or if they would like to collect it themselves, for there are some who consider it impolite if the parcel is left at the doorstep. These executives earn a minimum of ₹400 to a maximum of ₹1000 a day, they say.

Sometimes, they also deliver to the homes of those under quarantine. S. Anar, a 35-year-old delivery executive with a hyper-local delivery platform, says, “In such cases, I call as soon as I reach their residence, inform them and leave the parcel at their doorstep. Initially, I was quite scared but now I have decided if I’m cautious, nothing can happen. I always wear gloves and masks and constantly, disinfect my hands too. After all, if we don’t help our own people during a crisis, who will?”

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 5:46:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/delivering-food-veggies-on-time-while-braving-risks-during-covid-19-lockdown/article31248505.ece

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