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A bite of freedom for women

Flexible hours, independence and a sense of adventure are some of the reasons women list for their choice of job
Binu Biswas and Kanchan Sarkar of Swiggy.
Binu Biswas and Kanchan Sarkar of Swiggy.
Telegraph picture

Chandreyee Ghose   |   Calcutta   |   Published 07.03.19, 09:32 PM

Women are criss-crossing the city on bikes, delivering biryani to Black Forest cake from morning till evening. Food delivery apps have seen several women sign up as delivery agents over the past year despite the job demanding over eight hours on the road.

Flexible hours, independence and a sense of adventure are some of the reasons women list for their choice of job.

Binu Biswas, 38, rides her violet Scooty around south Calcutta, delivering food for Swiggy. Her work day starts at 8am and ends around 5pm.

“This job is like an adventure to me, it’s like my dream job. Everyday brings up new experiences and new areas to explore. I also like the fact that there are no targets to reach,” said the Santoshpur-New Alipore resident who worked at a call centre and as a primary school teacher before joining Swiggy in November.

Delivery partners at Swiggy are paid a fixed salary besides achievement-based incentives.

The girl from Jamshedpur has always been fond of cars and bikes ever since she learnt driving at a young age. She has just bought a red Scooty with her earnings and is waiting to ride it on work trips.

Kanchan Sarkar bagged her first job at 40 last December. “My husband is a businessman and there is no financial crisis at home. I would take up stitching assignments at times for some extra money,” said the mother of a Class XI boy and a Class VIII girl.

When the resident of Ananda Palit, CIT Road, heard about the opening in Swiggy, she was game to try it for “some independence and financial security”. “I enjoy interacting with people. I could not even read the GPS but learnt it on job,” she said.

Binu and Kanchan are among 13 women hired by Swiggy as part of its south Calcutta and Lake Town fleets.

Susmita Goswami, 24, joined food delivery app Uber Eats last year and finds it just right. “I was studying MA in political science but had to quit because of financial trouble. I didn’t want a static office job,” said the Dum Dum Park resident.

Susmita’s usual day starts at noon and ends at 11.30pm with a break in between. “I deliver 10 to 12 orders in a day and get to travel the entire city as we don’t have fixed routes. It’s fun,” said the girl who dreams of a start-up one day.

Most customers are welcoming, if surprised, on seeing the women delivery partners. “Some even want selfies,” smiled Kanchan.



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