NEWS

COVID-19: Loss Of Income Affecting Mental Health Of Taxi Drivers Claims Association

General secretary, Ashwin Lal said the situation during the pandemic was getting worse because taxi drivers were not earning enough.
31 May 2020 13:45
COVID-19: Loss Of Income Affecting Mental Health Of Taxi Drivers Claims Association
Taxi’s parked at their base.

Loss of income brought about by COVID-19 is causing stress and affecting the mental health of taxi drivers, says the Fiji Taxi Association.

General secretary, Ashwin Lal said the situation during the pandemic was getting worse because taxi drivers were not earning enough.

He said this affected their families, especially in cases where the drivers were the sole breadwinners.

“Taxi drivers have been calling the association to clear their doubts and if they can get the Government FNPF assistance,” he said.

Mr Lal said some drivers were using their private vehicles to earn money, which was illegal.

“It is sad to see taxi drivers opting to go the wrong direction to help feed their respective family members,” he said.

Fida Hussain, a taxi driver for the past 15 years, said he did not expect the COVID-19 pandemic to make such a drastic effect on his life.

Mr Hussain claimed that in some cases the matter was made worse by spouses who did not support their husbands who drive taxis for a living.

Mr Hussain said the contribution of wives in the family plays a huge role when it comes to supporting the family and looking after the house.

“It is very hard to cope during this pandemic, especially being the only breadwinner, plus the job is not as good as it was before,” he said.

“It would be a relief if wives or family members could show their support and motivate the drivers because we go through a lot of stress.”

He said he knew of some public service vehicle drivers who were involved in domestic violence situations because wives did not understand the issues they faced.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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