India's gig workforce is a space that has witnessed constant growth and is expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30, according to a Niti Aayog report. Gig workers come from several different groups but are typically those who hold on to the flexibility and additional income of a gig and a regular job. The space remained largely unregulated for the longest time, and there weren't set frameworks to protect gig workers' rights.
However, with the growing gig economy came along the need to identify and address the needs and protect the gig workers involved in the occupation. Earlier this year, food delivery platform Swiggy announced the rollout of a free ambulance service dedicated to their delivery executives and their dependents in cases of emergencies. Following the cue, food delivery platform Zomato has launched The Shelter Project to support the entire gig economy and delivery partners of various companies.
Delivery Agents Can Rest Between Rides
Zomato's new initiative, "The Shelter Project," offers a differential take toward ensuring the welfare of gig workers in the economy. Under this project, the company aims to establish a public infrastructure called Rest Points to help gig workers of various companies to take a break. Talking about the project, Zomato's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deepinder Goyal, said, "We recognise that delivery partners face multiple challenges while on the job, from navigating through traffic to delivering orders in inclement weather conditions." Expanding on this, he conveyed that the company was started with a vision to serve society, and continuing in this spirit of service, they would like to serve their delivery agents better.
Goyal noted that the delivery partners deal with a demanding job every day. So far there's not much public infrastructure available to help the gig workers do their jobs better and safer. Lighting the way ahead, the company has established two pilot Rest Points in Gurgaon. Based on its functioning, the company hopes to create more such rest points in the densest clusters of its food delivery business.
Facilities Made Available At Rest Points
The Shelter Points come equipped with clean drinking water, access to washrooms, phone-charging stations, high-speed internet, a 24×7 helpdesk, and essential first-aid support. Goyal conveyed that the Shelter Points are just one step towards the ongoing efforts to support delivery executives. According to The Hindu Business Line report, he further added that the project has so far received positive feedback from delivery partners of multiple last-mile delivery players.
The objective is to become a space where the delivery agents can rest, recharge, and "take a moment for themselves." This way, not only is the initiative creating a better work environment, but it also places the physical and mental health of the gig workers at the core.
Also Read: Gig Workers At This Food Delivery Platform Can Now Avail Free Ambulance Services: Know More