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Tukxi autorickshaw drivers come forward to mitigate Covid woes

When autorickshaws were affected by ride-hailing apps like Uber and Ola, no one thought that in this pandemic autorickshaw drivers will be the ones coming forward to help.

Published: 23rd May 2021 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2021 02:07 PM   |  A+A-

Tukxi autorickshaws loaded with essential kits from Town Hall

Tukxi autorickshaws loaded with essential kits from Town Hall

Express News Service

KOCHI: When autorickshaws were affected by ride-hailing apps like Uber and Ola, no one thought that in this pandemic autorickshaw drivers will be the ones coming forward to help. During pandemic, auto drivers across the nation are making headlines for their selfless deeds to help people in distress. An auto-taxi ride-hailing app Tukxi has come forward to join hands with the Kochi Corporation to deliver essential kits and food parcels to the needy. When the triple lockdown was announced, a few auto drivers voluntarily came forward to deliver essential kits.

The corporation has already joined hands with auto drivers in the city to deliver food kits and some of them have been converted to autorickshaw ambulances. “The Tukxi team has voluntarily come forward to help the corporation deliver food packets to Covid patients’ homes in the lockdown period, said a corporation official. 

The corporation had distributed over one lakh cooked food packets to Covid-affected families from community kitchen and 3,850 essential kits to the needy through squad vehicles and Tukxi auto drivers.

In the coming days, corporation will be looking forward to helping people in all ways possible. “The corporation has set up three Covid-19 help desks and will increase it to eight if needed,” said the official. “We have assigned more than 20 auto drivers who voluntarily came forward to deliver essential kits to the needy and those who are in quarantine,” said Arjun Thampi, marketing head, Tukxi. Each drive assigned for corporation trip is paid based on the kilometres from Tukxi’s end.”This is to ensure an income for the drivers. The trip fare varies from person to person,” he said. 

Misha Jose, a 40-year-old, Tukxi member was part of the initiative from the beginning. “I voluntarily joined the initiative to help deliver the kits. This is the least I can do,” he said. Apart from joining the corporation to deliver food kits he also offers rides to Covid patients to hospitals for free. One day Misha saw his friend and family walking to the hospital for a Covid test. No auto drivers were willing to give them a ride. “I have a plastic sheet in my autorickshaw that separates the driver’s cabin and passenger seat. I am not afraid of the virus. Hence I told the ward member in my panchayat that if anyone needs a ride to the hospital, I am available,” he said. Several autorickshaw drivers have now come forward to give a ride for Covid patients.



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