Thursday, September 21, 2023

Indian student working as Uber Eats driver in Australia killed in road accident

MELBOURNE: A 22-year-old Indian student working as an Uber Eats driver in Australia was killed after his bike collided with an SUV in Sydney, a media report said.

Akshay Deepak Doultani, a Mumbai native pursuing a master’s degree in Australia, died in a crash last week in New South Wales while working as a food delivery driver, the Australia Broadcasting Cooperation reported on Wednesday.

Doultani received a scholarship for a master’s degree in finance at Macquarie University and came to Australia in February.

He worked as an Uber Eats delivery rider at least three times a week to cover his expenses.

He was taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital after the crash but died hours later, the report said.

“The only reason why he wanted to come abroad was not [just to] have a good life for himself but to provide more amenities for his family so they could live a lifestyle that was much better,” his cousin Pratik Kamath was quoted as saying in the report.

With Doultani’s death, the number of food delivery riders killed in Australia since 2017 rose to 12, according to the Transport Workers Union.

“Akshay’s tragic loss is another reminder of how dangerous the gig economy can be. Where workers are forced to push themselves to the limit just to make ends meet,” Labor senator for New South Wales Tony Sheldon posted on social media platform X.

In a statement, Uber Eats said it was committed to the safety of delivery workers and had policies in place to enhance road safety.

“In Australia, Uber Eats delivery people are covered by a support package designed specifically for them,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.

The fatal crash is being investigated by New South Wales Police and Safework NSW, the state work safety regulator.

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