Srinagar: Last two months have been extremely challenging for 22-year-old Sameer Ahmad who worked as a courier boy for a local company.
Earning Rs 12000 a month, he was the only breadwinner in the family. Come lockdown, he was rendered jobless. Ahmad, a resident of Old city’s Hawal area, had to borrow money from friends to manage his expenses at home.
“Last year courier services were shut for nearly five months. This year too, we had to face a very tough time given the lockdown. Our earnings are determined by the situation and the availability of the internet,” he said.
Smiles, however, have returned after courier companies were allowed to restart operations in Kashmir. Nearly 3,000 courier boys have rejoined their duties in the valley.
President, Kashmir Courier Companies Association, Zahoor Ahmad Qari told The Kashmir Monitor that they are gearing up for the distribution of goods as major e-commerce giants have agreed to resume operation in Kashmir.
“A few days back we gave our feedback to the e-commerce companies about the situation in Kashmir. We assured them that the delivery of products will be ensured. Pin codes of various areas will be updated by e-commerce companies for smooth operations,” he said.
However, the companies will not be delivering goods in red zones and containment areas.
“Now we will start receiving consignments through air cargos. It is a big relief for the courier companies and employees associated with them,” he said.
E-commerce has a huge market in Kashmir with people preferring to buy clothes, medicines, and even samples for medical tests online.
“Companies like Myantra, Jabbong, Flipkart, and others will be delivering products. Besides, people also prefer to buy medicines from NetMeds and other websites,” Qari said.
The resumption of courier services has brought cheers on the faces of many who have been struggling to buy products online.
“I often buy medicines for my mother online. They are authentic medicines and sold on discounted rates. It is a major relief for people at a time when all the shops are shut in the valley,” said Muneer Ahmad, a government employee from Baramulla.