As cities unlock, fate of migrant workers in gig jobs remains locked

Most of the gig economy workers are migrants who came from smaller towns to the big cities in search of work | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Engineering graduate S Saravanan left his Madurai home for Chennai to work in a BPO company for a paltry pay of ₹11,000, but found it difficult to make ends meet. That’s when a friend introduced him to a food aggregator. The lucrative package on a commission basis and the flexibility of working hours suited Saravanan and he soon became one of the thousands of food delivery boys in the city.

In the new job, he made around ₹15,000-25,000 per month and also got incentives for more deliveries. “It was easy for me to survive, pay back my loans and give some money to my family as well,” he says. But that was until COVID-19 struck.

Cut short by COVID-19

Although delivery boys like Saravanan and some others did not lose their jobs, they found it difficult to keep going.

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