21-year-old Sunita lives in Delhi’s Sangam Vihar with her parents, brother and two sisters. Her family’s annual income, she says, is less that Rs 1 lakh. To support her family and in a bid to do something different, she joined a start-up in Delhi that was hiring women professionals to deliver products at home.
Sunita said she was scared to ride a scooter and her parents were apprehensive about her choice of profession. They were also concerned about her safety. “Initially I was scared of riding all by myself around Delhi, but with time, I gained confidence and I do not fear anymore,” she told NDTV.
Sunita is one of the six members of the scooter-riding delivery girls’ team. The girls, aged between 19 to 24, earn about Rs 10,000 and support their families.
The Delhi-based social enterprise Even Cargo was founded by Yogesh Kumar, 28, a graduate from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The motivation behind starting this women-only delivery service, he said, “was to break the stereotype and provide opportunities to women from weaker sections of the society”. He said, “I feel there’s a story behind every woman. They are born as conquerors. Just give them a chance and look forward to great changes.”
His start-up trained 100 women to ride a scooter. Of these, only 6 completed all four steps and joined as permanent employees. Most families disapprove of this profession and due to lack of support from them, there’s a high drop-out rate, he told NDTV.
Shambhavi, one of the buyers, said, “Whenever there’s a delivery and there’s an unknown man on the other side of the door, I tend to be apprehensive and on guard. A delivery girl on the other side, however, brings in a sense of security.”
Sunita feels that this job has liberated her. She feels more confident and safer than before. Besides delivering the products, she is doing graduation from a Delhi college. She said, “I aspire to join the National Cadet Corps. I want to do something more with my life”.
The six girls, as a team, deliver about 13-15 products a day, Mr Kumar said. The start-up, supported by Singapore International Foundation and TISS Development Bank Of Singapore, is looking to expand, train and hire more women professional riders.