A few days ago, I had to visit the market to buy some essentials, so I booked a Rapido and my designated driver came to pick me up. After a few minutes on the ride, the driver started talking to me in English. Call me stereotypical, but once my Rapido driver started speaking fluently in English, I had to give him a double-take just like in the telenovelas. I was so amazed by his fluency and pronunciation that I wondered if he is actually a Rapido driver or someone else in disguise.
A couple of minutes into the conversation, I got to know that the driver only associated with Rapido some time ago. He recently took up this job because he is one of the many victims of this coronavirus pandemic.
Jagjeet Singh, 42, lost his job last year when the first wave of the deadly coronavirus hit India. He was switching companies in the hope of a hike when the pandemic struck, leading to the biggest setback of his life. Jagjeet resigned from his first job on December 4, 2019, to join Rexel India, which he was supposed to join in April 2020, but due to the lockdown, the company couldn’t manage to hire him.
“I was working as Territory Manager Business Development in TVS Credit Services Pvt Ltd, Chandigarh. However, I resigned from the job as I was getting the opportunity to work in Raxel India, but due to Covid-19, they had to let me go and I lost both the jobs,” he said.
The loss of income devastated him and his family. He has a two-member family of him and his son, and he has to take care of his house, medical bills, his son’s education and other needs of his child. Now, Jagjeet, who earlier used to earn more than Rs 30,000 per month, now has to satisfy himself with Rs 6,000-7,000.
“I took the Rapido job because survival was becoming harder day by day and I was as clueless as the rest of the public as to when this lockdown would end. My friend suggested that I take up a Rapido job as a driver so that I can at least survive this pandemic,” he said with a heavy voice.
The pandemic has made life tough for everyone and Jagjeet is no exception. He is a single father taking care of his 14-year-old child. Jagjeet was unable to pay his son’s school fee last year, so the school refused to give him his final result. However, they promoted him to the next class without revealing his complete academic result/marks.
“I have to pay Rs 27,000 towards the school, which is still pending,” said Mr. Singh.
There are many people out there who are still facing mental health issues as the pandemic is getting worse day by day. It is hard for Jagjeet as he has to deal with a lot of pressure every day — be it taking care of his son’s educational needs, winning daily bread and butter — and coping with the pandemic is not making it any easy for him. However, what makes it worse is when you don’t have anyone with whom you can talk.
“How can a person be happy when it’s so difficult to find a suitable job that you deserve and you are under so much mental pressure? I want to work in a good company where I can get a handsome salary so that I can pay all my debts,” he said
Despite facing personal problems and professional setbacks, Jagjeet is still motivated and ready to fight the challenges. He is currently giving job interviews, managing his current job and single-handedly taking care of his son.