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Travel biz shut, owner turns delivery man

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23

Vinod Gupta, 40, had been working in the tourism and travel sector for the past 20 years. Three years ago, he planned to set up his own travel business and started working to achieve his dream of running his own firm. And then came Covid. As the world saw, the first victim of the Covid-19 pandemic was the travel and tourism industry.

Hit hard by the recession, Vinod spent his lockdown hoping for the pandemic to pass, so that he could get back to working on his dream. Vinod, who now works as a delivery agent for an e-commerce giant, says, “No one had thought that the entire year would be gone in fighting the pandemic and our livelihoods will be ruined. My small travel business that was beginning to establish itself has been completely rooted out. I had no other skill and the job market is very tight,” he said.

"Working as a delivery agent is not enough to support a family, but at least it keeps running our household expenses. It was a necessity for me to begin earning somewhere as one cannot keep sitting idle thinking that things will turn better,” he says.

Vinod works throughout the week with his delivery assignments and has been alternately looking for additional jobs to make extra bucks. “For a middle-class family, things have become really tough. Schools are demanding fee and there is no waiver of any sort from the banks. One has to manage the food, electricity and other expenses. There has been no support from the government in providing relief, especially to the travel and tourism industry workforce as many business establishments have been forced to shut shop,” he said.

While the city is witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases every day, he adds that the travel industry will need at least two to three more months to re-open.

But he is hopeful that he will get back to his dream of running his travel firm once things normalise.

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