Last week, a tweet was being praised by a lot of people – everybody, from a popular Bollywood actress to ex-CM of Rajasthan, shared it on social media. It featured a Zomato delivery partner going about his day. The only difference being he was on a manual wheelchair cycle on his way to make his next food delivery. Whoever saw it was touched by his adherence to the dignity of work. And it immediately came to our notice that the person in question is Ramu Sahu – a resident of Beawar in Rajasthan and a proud Zomato delivery partner.
In our book, he is a hero. He has an interesting backdrop too: when he approached us for a job, he made it very clear that he isn’t baiting for sympathy. Being the sole breadwinner of his family, he wanted gainful employment, not financial aid from others. This attitude toward life has earned him respect from our city team and whoever knows him vouches for his diligence and never-say-die spirit.
Because of his undying spirit, and because he’s such an inspiration, we have ordered an electric vehicle for him. Convincing him to accept it would be an ordeal, we are sure. But we will make all efforts to let him know that we are not doing this from a place of pity; only from a place of pride and gratitude.
This green beauty is on its way to Ramu.
From our delivery fleet of over 1.8 lakh registered delivery partners, we are aware of two individuals who are differently-abled but refuse to let their disability get in the way of their goals. The other delivery partner hails from Belgaum, Karnataka and presently rides a four-wheeled scooter to make his deliveries. We recently shipped him with a smartphone – as a token of gratitude – because he was facing issues with his device.
Since we introduced the bios of our delivery partners on our app, we’ve been receiving positive feedback on how it helps our users connect with them on a higher level. In the near future, we will be displaying the ‘differently abled’ status of a given delivery partner to help sensitize our users. This move, we believe, will facilitate a more positive environment for both the users as well as the delivery partners.
And that’s not it. We are also currently in the process of making our delivery fleet conducive to employing ex-defense personnels who have gone through injuries in the line of duty. The idea is to open up our doors to assimilate individuals who don’t want their physical disabilities to stop them from living their lives to the fullest.
The food delivery ecosystem in India is turning out to be a massive business opportunity, but as of now, at a noticeable human and ecological cost. We are committed to making this a net positive enterprise for all the stakeholders involved – our delivery partners, our users, our restaurant partners, as well as nature.