Foodpanda says frontline delivery riders are our heroes
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A CCTV footage showing a foodpanda rider getting mugged in Karachi has become viral on social media platforms. Muhammad Noman was on his daily delivery routine at Nazimabad, Sector 1 on 15th June 2020 where he encountered an incident as two men approached him on a motorcycle, in an attempt to rob him. A scene that plays out on streets across Pakistan almost daily, only this time there was an unusual twist.
According to the CCTV footage, two masked men on a motorcycle approached and stopped delivery rider completing his delivery while passersby crossed the scene. The robbers then continued to take their victim’s possessions but were then seen hugging their victim, shaking hands with him and returning all his possessions. This bizarre turn of events has puzzled Pakistanis across the country.
The victim of the scene, Noman, started crying and requested the robbers to return his possessions. The two men felt Noman’s plea and returned his money. The mixed emotions of kindness, adversity and sensitivity have made this one of the most-watched and talked about videos online over the last week.
In his own words, Noman said (translated from Urdu): “I was confused for a second, thought they were people I know because they approached me saying ‘Salam’ and ‘How are you?’ etc. When I realized what just happened and saw them leaving I asked them for my phone and money back, I also teared up, which is probably why those guys felt sorry for me and returned everything.”
When reached for comment, foodpanda’s CEO Nauman Sikander Mirza said: “Riders are essential frontline workers and our heroes. They brave difficult conditions every day to deliver vitally needed food and groceries to your home so you can avoid going out and lessen the risk of Covid-19 for you and your family. In this instance, I am relieved that Noman is safe and his possessions were returned, but I urge the authorities to do more for the protection of our hardworking heroes.”
Nauman Mirza also shared that foodpanda already provides all its delivery riders road safety training, Covid-19 protection gear, health insurance and accidental death coverage. Insurance coverage is free of cost for all riders.
In incidents of criminal activity, if a rider is mugged, he/she has the provision to go to the rider ticketing platform where the rider needs to provide a copy of the valid FIR of the incident. Upon provision of the valid FIR, the looted amount is waived from the rider, which is completely borne by foodpanda, in order to protect the rider from financial losses.
Each rider operates in a limited zone of 4-5 kms radius so as to save their fuel cost with a designated department dealing with rider compensation which closely monitors rider’s earnings; with bonuses being provided regularly. Amidst COVID, where organizations laid off their resources, foodpanda was the one of the few companies in Pakistan to provide earning assistance and ration support to their riders in areas where operations were halted due to the lockdown.
As Pakistan's leading food delivery company, foodpanda ensures the safety and security of its fleet of more than 15,000 riders across the nation. For now, it’s nice to see that even Pakistani robbers have a heart and sensitive spot for people earning an honest living.