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WFH affects livelihood of 10L workers in Hyd

Cab drivers most impacted in the city due to prolonged hybrid work

WFH affects livelihood of 10L workers in Hyd
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WFH affects livelihood of 10L workers in Hyd

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Hyderabad: Owing to fears of Covid-19 infection, most of the IT offices in Hyderabad region remained shut for about one-and-a-half-years, resulting in loss of livelihoods to lakhs of workers. Cab drivers, housekeeping staff and security guards have been struggling financially since the pandemic had struck the country.

Even after Telangana government easing restrictions on movement, 85 per cent of overall 6 lakh IT employees are working from home (WFH) in Hyderabad region, according to a survey done by Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA).

Earlier, IT and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan held a meeting with the chiefs of tech companies and asked them to restart the operations from their offices in the city, but in vain. Most of the IT firms still prefer hybrid working model. TITA Global president Sundeep Kumar Makthala also urged the IT firms to reopen their offices as more than 90 per cent IT employees have already taken their first dose of Covid vaccine and about 40-45 per cent workforce took their second dose of the vaccine.

Each IT employee needs three support staff. Thus, the remote and hybrid work culture has badly affected roughly 10 lakh people employed directly or indirectly with the IT industry in the region. There was no income to drivers, cleaners, mechanics and other non-technical staff directly working for IT offices. Also, the indirect jobs in travel, tourism and hotel industries also suffered losses during last 18 months. The travel industry is the worst hit due to the pandemic in Telangana. It is worth more than Rs 50,000 crore and it is considered the third-largest revenue-generating segment in the State.

The industry pay taxes of nearly Rs3,000 crore a year under various heads. Unlike other States, Telangana has nearly 25,000 cab drivers who were trained in various aspects of road safety.

Syed Nizamuddin, president, Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association, said: "The travel industry has completely collapsed in the State. Majority of vehicles (cabs and buses) are linked with the IT Industry. If the State government directs the IT sector to resume its regular business, the travel industry will get a breather."

Nizamuddin is one of the busiest travel operators in the State having more than 300 employees. He claims that the shutdown of IT offices has brought down their income to zero. Similarly, the livelihoods of several cab drivers in the city have impacted by the prolonged shut down of IT ecosystem. He said that around 50,000 vehicles, including 25,000 cars, 10,000 maxi cabs and 3,500 buses, ply in the city.

N Sharath Chowdary
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