‘Earning slid to ₹15,000 from ₹25,000’
Almost 90% of gig workers in India have lost income during the pandemic, according to a survey by Flourish Ventures, a global fintech venture capital fund.
The survey, conducted among 770 ride-sharing drivers, delivery workers and house cleaners in August, found incomes had collapsed since the lockdown with almost nine out of ten gig workers earning less than ₹15,000 a month in August compared with more than ₹25,000 a month before the pandemic.
The firm said government aid had alleviated some hardship as of those surveyed, 42% received food or financial aid from the government as part of COVID-19 relief measures.
“Despite real fears about the health risk, 61% of respondents were more concerned about their ability to work,” as per Flourish Ventures.
“Concern for their livelihoods outweighed gig workers’ worries about even their access to basic needs (17%) or their family’s health (12%),” it added.
To deal with the reduction in incomes, the survey added that 44% of the respondents had resorted to borrowing, 45% have cut consumption, 83% have used their savings, and 57% have acted on the loan moratorium to reduce or halt payments on their debts.
“Most gig workers worry about their future. While immediate cash flow was a moderate concern, at least 61% of respondents’ top concern was saving for old age or paying off debt,” it added.
“This research reveals most are concerned for their financial future,” said Tilman Ehrbeck, managing partner, Flourish.
“At Flourish, our hope is that the same digital platforms which enabled the gig economy can connect workers to new sources of income and better financial tools for security in this crisis and beyond.”
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