Hyderabad: Not all heroes wear capes. And Sonu Sood cannot reach everywhere. But those are the places where a Hyderabadi stands up and lives up to the spirit of the city.
Robin Mukesh’s food was delivered at lightning speed by Mohd Aqeel, a Zomato delivery executive, on a rainy Monday night at King Koti. What moved Mukesh was not the youngster drenched in the rain, but the ordeal he was going through, pedaling on a rickety bicycle, with multiple food packs that had to be delivered quickly.
Aqeel, a resident of Talab Katta, is currently the sole breadwinner for his family. Graduating, earning a well-paid job and supporting his family was what he used to dream of. But then the pandemic struck. The already struggling family was pushed into further crisis with his father’s sole work of making slippers also suffering. It was then that the 21-year-old engineering student decided to work as a delivery executive. He connected with Zomato and started pedalling on the streets on an outmoded Hero cycle.
“I come from a poor family where I can’t even think of buying a motorbike,” says Aqeel, who delivers about 20 orders daily, travelling at least 80 km on his bicycle, rain or shine. He earns around Rs.8,000 per month, which is hardly enough for running a family, according to him.
“My income depends on the orders I get and the target I reach,” he adds.
But, the kindness of Hyderabadis has now made his job easy. Mukesh, who was moved by his plight, immediately started a campaign to raise money to give him a bike. The campaign was posted on a Facebook group ‘The Great Hyderabad Food and Travel Club’ which has over 32,000 members. What Aqeel needed was a basic TVS XL 100. In no time, the campaign went viral on social media and in less than 24 hours, it raised Rs.73,370 against the target of Rs.65,801.
“The true essence of Hyderabad is humanity. We are surrounded by good Samaritans who are always ready to help fellow humans, especially in these difficult times. I feel happy that I could help him rather than just ordering and ignoring his plight,” Mukesh said.
Aqeel now has a motorbike along with a helmet and raincoat too. Crying happy tears, he says he can now deliver at least 30 orders daily, on time, and feed his family.
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