Coronavirus: Bengaluru cab drivers launch online campaign to highlight hardship during lockdown
Hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown, Bengaluru cab drivers have launched an online campaign called 'Selfie with empty vessels' to highlight their hardships.
Demanding financial assistance, they said at least Rs 15,000 must be deposited in their account.
Aggrieved with the alleged indifferent behaviour of the state and the Indian government, the cab drivers launched the campaign where they posed wearing black ribbons to mark their protest.
A large number of drivers have taken part in the online campaign where they shared their photograph holding empty vessels to underline the hand-to-mouth situation prevailing in their lives.
"It is almost one-and-half months ever since the lockdown has been imposed, but till now, no one has responded to the plight of cab drivers," Tanveer Pasha, the Founder-President of Ola Taxi For Sure and Uber Drivers and Owners Association said.
Pasha said, due to the lockdown, all the drivers have been rendered jobless, but the Indian government and the state government has not paid any heed to their plight.
"There are around five lakh cab and autorickshaw drivers in Bengaluru. Most of them don't have BPL (below poverty line ration) cards. The government's assistance is not reaching them," Pasha alleged.
The Association's President said the MNCs have been paying those who work from home, but the cabs attached with these companies have got nothing.
He alleged that the finance companies and private bankers have been pestering the cab drivers to pay the EMIs, and demanded that the government initiate action against them.
Earlier in March, Ola announced the launch of 'Sahyog', an interest-free micro-credit programme that will help driver-partners get instant access to cash in their bank account, to tide over any financial crisis arising due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Working in partnership with fintech startup Avail Finance, Sahyog offers pre-approved credit of Rs 3,600 to be disbursed over three weeks. It aims to impact over 100,000 families of driver-partners who are in need of liquidity for immediate household expenses.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
Edited by Suman Singh