The world is faced with a crisis that it has almost never seen before. The global economy has literally been affected by something that no one predicted. India, responded to this pandemic by locking down the country. While, this has certainly helped the country manage the pandemic, it created a new problem where daily wage earners and small business owners faced economic hardships. Some solutions do exist, delivery services are available for most things today in the cities. So, how can we help?
A key aspect of the current situation is social distancing and hygiene. As social distancing is being maintained it is recommended that it is better to get items delivered to you rather than having multiple people in a particular area.
The basic needs that we talk about is ‘Roti, Kapda, Makan’ – literally meaning ‘Food, Clothing and Shelter’. While, food is delivered to the door, either in the form of groceries or cooked food and we are all in the shelter of our homes, working from home is become the norm – brought upon by technology that connects us. Clothes are also critical to ensure hygiene during this uncertain period.
The lockdown also affected a lot of businesses, esp. small businesses owned by family and local owners for whom this is the only form of earning. A business such as laundries or dhobis as we call them. These laundries are generally owned by people for whom this is their only source of livelihood. Also, they employ workers who are paid daily wages, based on the business that comes into their laundry.
I will like to share the story of Vijay, a laundry owner for whom this is the sole source of income. He supports his family of five, his mother and also his brother with the income he earns from this business. Also, three workers who he has are supporting their families. The story of Vijay is just one of about 1600 laundries in Pune alone – putting families of thousands at stake. These are the same people who ensure that our clothes are washed and cleaned, hospital linen is sanitary and hotel rooms have clean bed sheets. Hygiene is a key aspect in the fight against Covid-19!
While larger hospitals generally have their own laundry systems within the facility, there are many smaller hospitals which have traditionally depended upon the local laundry system to help with their hygiene needs. Also, materials worn by doctors and patients alike must be handled properly to ensure that the hygiene needs are maintained.
Just before the world around us locked down to protect us all – we launched ‘YeLaundry’ - the first of its kind laundry aggregator and delivery services. The service is designed around ensuring that the local communities are empowered to be able to get access to technology and act as a backbone of the laundry industry. Instead of replacing the existing ecosystem of laundries this acts to support them in earning their livelihood. We feel, that YeLaundry is the right thing at the right time.
We ensure that the material to be laundered is picked by our team – who are trained to follow WHO guidelines on distancing & personal protection. This is then handed over to the laundry owners who have been provided guidelines to ensure their protection from infection. This simple step ensures that there is minimal contact with any material that may be infected, enabling protection for our delivery team and laundry partners. During processing the material, each lot of material is processed separately, to ensure low chance of cross contamination. The processing of these material is done by staff who have been trained in personal protection guidelines and they wear face masks and gloves to ensure that they are adequately protected.
YeLaundry, is at the forefront of this to ensure that we are able to deliver contactless hygienic clothing and linen, whilst also ensuring that we follow the government guidelines of it being better to be delivered.
YeLaundry will ensure that the small business owners are still supported in times of economic uncertainty. In fact, the delivery team was paid salaries, even though there was no business – to ensure that they are supported during this time.
YeLaundry is ready to support the hygiene requirements of hospitals & homes while also supporting the local businesses to get back on their feet. YeLaundry – Tension Kyu Lena, YeLaundry Hain Na.