Indore: ‘Wheel-Power’ Accelerating Food-Delivery Boy’s Life

Indore: ‘Wheel-Power’ Accelerating Food-Delivery Boy’s Life

Meet Shehzad Ali, a victim of the brittle bone disease who is proving the line - Where there’s a will, there’s a way, in the real sense.

ARSH RAFIK VISAALUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 08:31 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Food delivery is a rigorous business with tight deadlines. Any person engaged in this trade has to be constantly on the move requiring plenty of physical stamina not only to negotiate the city traffic but also to cope with the often long hours. The schedule is hectic enough for a perfectly normal delivery person so just imagine the physical strain on a person suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) who is working as a delivery person for the last one-and-a-half year.

Meet Shehzad Ali, a victim of the brittle bone disease who is proving the line - Where there’s a will, there’s a way, in the real sense.

Shehzad who has been suffering from this disease since childhood had decided to live life on his own terms and not let his dangerous condition affect his life.

This disease is a group of inherited disorders characterised by fragile bones that break easily and is caused by defective genes.

Thus he started working to earn his livelihood.

He says, “I don’t want to beg or get sympathy for being disabled, so I have been doing work in different fields. Earlier, I used to work in a call centre where people used to discriminate against me due to my disability. My employer used to insult and punish me by way of salary deduction or imposing half-day even if I was not able to perform my duty or reached the office late due to any medical emergency.

This harassment increased after Covid and I decided to change my job and got the job of a delivery boy and I am doing it happily, said Shehzad.

In his quest to earn his livelihood all by himself he has been ably assisted by NeoMotion, a startup incubated under IIT Madras which has provided him a specially designed wheelchair.

He added, “I have been delivering food to 10-12 customers for Zomato every day for the last one and half years which helps me to earn Rs 300- Rs 400 a day.”

Shehzad is using a Neo Bolt wheelchair with which he easily commutes inside buildings, offices, and stores along with restaurants. The wheelchair is attached with a basket of the delivery company in which he carries food items and delivers it to the customers.

“I do it for my livelihood. I urge people like me to not lose hope and work. Most customers appreciate me but some demotivate too,” he added.

“Usually food delivery companies do not give jobs to disabled people, but my company has provided a special wheelchair for people such as me so that we can also do such work,” he added.

The cost of the vehicle is Rs 1.20 lakh which is provided by my company on easy EMI which is deducted from salary itself.

However, Shehzad is able to work only during the daytime as his wheelchair does not have any light and he is scared of any mishap that may take place due to this. He got married in December and realises the need to earn more. He says, “The wheelchair goes 25-30 km per charge due to its small battery pack so I am in need of another battery pack worth around Rs 25,000 which will help me to work and earn more.”

NeoMotion

NeoMotion is a startup from R2D2, incubated at IIT Madras, that focuses on creating life-transformative products for people with physical challenges and the elderly. NeoBolt is one of its products that helps the physically challenged to commute independently. It is a rugged wheelchair suited for any terrain. It has a rechargeable battery, digital dashboard, horn, reverse function and runs 30 km per charge.

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