April 16, 2020, Kathmandu
Sarathi is an online taxi service operating in Nepal for the past five years or more. The outbreak of corona has made them face obstacles they never faced during their five years of experience. The lockdown imposed by the government has resulted in a complete shutdown of their services. And the taxi operators are themselves facing problems in managing daily livelihood due to their business being closed.
Prakash Neupane, the co-founder of Sarathi, said that people who have to get their regular health check-ups still call them for their services. As public transportation is restricted due to lockdown, people are only allowed to travel on their private vehicles. But for those who don’t own private cars, Sarathi was the only option. Neupane added that they are working on different modalities to make the service possible.
“We have also talked to our drivers living in different areas,” said Neupane. He also stated that they are in trouble.
The company has also provided PPE set to their taxi drivers marking the health of the driver as a priority. The company would provide the equipment at their own expense.
To continue their services for essential and emergency purposes, Sarathi has begun the process of obtaining approval from the government. Neupane also said that they would be providing services critical to the service recipients as soon as they get support from the government. These services are crucial, as contacting hospital ambulances for their regular treatment might not be suitable. And for those who don’t have any vehicles, this can be a great help also this can revive the economy of the taxi drivers.