Delivery agents stand among the frontline workers keeping the country safe and running amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Beating the heat and other tough conditions every day, they do their work diligently, posing risks to their safety.
Fariya Tabassum's classes at Narsingdi Govt College are currently discontinued. After moving to Dhaka, she found work at Foodpanda as a delivery rider, which allowed her to be self-sufficient. She cycles around in Dhanmondi to deliver packages. "It is empowering to be working in a platform that is expectedly male-dominated," Fariya said. "Riders always carry cash and devices, which puts them at risk on the streets. We need to be attentive at all times."
Adil Rahman, a student of Green University of Bangladesh, is a delivery agent at Uparjon, a platform that connects service providers with clients, promoting socio economic development. People, including small business owners, can choose what kind of doorstep services they need from Uparjon's app. Adil does his delivery job during the day, as his classes are in the evening. "I stay on a schedule, and have learnt to juggle multiple responsibilities," he added.
Priyanka, a student of Eden Mohila College, covers zones in Gulshan with her scooter. "I joined Foodpanda amidst the pandemic. Right now, the demand for groceries, medicines, and food is very high. Nonetheless, being a part of a public service in these tough times is rewarding," she shared.
Siddik Al Amin, a student of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, has been a food delivery agent since 2019. "Initially, I used to deliver packages from my acquaintances. Last month, I started working for Meals on Wheels, a company for homemade food," he said. Siddik also said that his merchants are immensely respectful. "At times, the merchants also have iftaar with us," he shared.
Shahin Alam, a student of Government Titumir College, has been a delivery agent for the past one year. "I picked up a job at Shohoz during the pandemic to earn some money in my free time," he shared. He ensures his safety by wearing masks and following social distancing protocols during work. Even though it is a demanding job, as most of the delivery agents explained, they are proud to be able to do something meaningful for the country.