Losing Job As A College Bus Driver Due To COVID-19, Woman Resorts To Driving Ambulance
A woman in Kerala lost her job as a bus driver in a college during COVID-19 pandemic, now she is driving an ambulance to meet her financial expenses.
In conversation with ANI, the woman, identified as Deepa Joseph from Kozhikode in Kerala, said that she lost her job after schools and colleges were shut down due to COVID-19. Joseph lives with her husband, mother and two children, a son and a daughter. Her son is studying in tenth grade, while her daughter is in the eighth standard.
Eventually, Joseph decided to take up the job of an ambulance driver to meet her family’s expenses. “Not many jobs are available due to the pandemic,” she told ANI, adding, “I took up this job because I was facing a financial crisis.” She further said that she has full support from the family for doing this work.
India Facing Financial Crisis Amid Coronavirus
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, more than 122 million people in India have lost their jobs in the month of April, amidst the financial crisis caused by COVID-19. The monthly unemployment rate in India has also seen a significant surge. It went to 27.11 percent on May 3 from under seven percent before the onset of a pandemic, i.e, mid-March.
Moreover, 75 percent of the job losses were concentrated in the small trading sectors and daily wage labour. Tamil Nadu was the worst-hit state with the highest unemployment rate. While Kerala fared lowest in terms of the labour participation rate. Besides, one in every four women in India lost their job amid the pandemic between March and April both in the formal and informal sector, with an estimated total of 17 million unemployed women.
How are women coping after losing their jobs?
Apart from Joseph, many other women have resorted to alternative employment options due to job loss and financial crisis.
26-year-old Unadadi Sharada who was employed in an MNC as a software engineer lost her job due to the COVID-19 crisis. The company could not afford to pay her even half of the salary since March. They neither had any project on which Sharada could work. With no option left, she had to leave the job. The consequent financial crunch forced the computer engineering graduate to sell vegetables on the pavement in Srinagar colony for survival. But Sharada wasn’t ashamed of the fact that she had to resort to selling vegetables. “It was a question of survival” and she had to do her best to overcome the economic crisis. However, later, actor Sonu Sood took cognizance of her situation and offered her a job.
28-year-old Vidya Shelke from Mumbai lost her job in a ride-sharing company a couple of days after the lockdown was imposed in the country. With no job, Vidya, who had to take care of her two children, was facing an indefinite crisis. She then decided to open her own taxi-service for disabled and elderly women and for the women stuck in the city.
Picture Credit: ANI