'Don’t Mock Us': India’s Gig Workers Escape Unemployment But Face Job Insecurity

Nearly 7.7 million people are part of India's gig economy. Many belong to its 'educated but jobless' workforce.

2 min read
Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam

Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya

(Correction: An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that the India's gig economy has 7.7 lakh workers. It has been updated to reflect that there are 7.7 million gig workers. The error is regretted.)

It was 5 pm on a hot Delhi summer evening. 35-year-old Pankaj Bisht, a food delivery executive, had just taken a break from his day at work, which began at 8 am, to speak to this reporter in South Delhi's Nehru Enclave.

"From the time you log in to the time you log out, you are under immense pressure... For an order for which we get only Rs 20-30, we have to travel 10-12 km. We have to keep in mind our maintenance, petrol, extreme weather like summer, rainy season...I feel disgusted how I could do such a job..."
Pankaj Bisht, a

According to NITI Aayog's 'India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ report, as of 2020-21, nearly 7.7 million people are part of India's booming economy.

Many turn to platforms like Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, BlinkIt, and Urban Company for flexible hours. Instead, what they face are long hours, pressure to meet delivery targets, and lack of regular income and social security.

While the Congress has promised a new law that protects the right of gig workers to enhance social security, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said it will use the unorganised workers database – e-Shram portal – to provide the benefits of various government programmes to the workers. 

But what is it that gig workers want? How do they see the poll promises made by parties? Will their issues affect the way they vote this time? Watch the video to find out more!

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Video Editor :Mohd. Irshad Alam
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