One-legged GrabFood rider sees livelihood uprooted as he loses 70% of orders due to footpath ban

PHOTO: Screengrab/Toggle

A car accident left him crippled in one leg at the tender age of 13, and the same leg was later amputated due to a bacterial infection when he was 29.

Despite all that, Saire Adnan, now 36, has been working as a Grabfood delivery rider for the past two years. With only one leg, Adnan would usually be seen delivering orders around his neighbourhood Clementi on a neon green e-scooter.

With the ban of e-scooters on footpaths on Nov 5, however, Adnan has been finding deliveries harder to fulfil than ever.

In a recent episode of Channel 5's Talking Point, Adnan gave viewers an insight into the struggles he has been facing ever since the ban kicked in.

#talkingpoint #mediacorp #saireadnan

Posted by Saire Adnan Legged on Friday, November 15, 2019

The show followed Adnan around as he delivered one of his orders. As there were no cycling paths nor park connectors along the way, the entire trip took almost 45 minutes, a far cry from the 30 minutes that is expected of riders.

By the time they reached the customer's house, Adnan was visibly tired out from having to push his e-scooter the entire way.

When asked why he didn't use a personal mobility aid (PMA), he explained that its battery life was far too short and it would only last for two to three deliveries at most. After all, a PMA wasn't meant to cover long distances in the first place.

Adnan didn't qualify for the grant meant to help food delivery riders using e-scooters to switch to other forms of transportation either. Like many others, he rented his e-scooter from Grab.

On top of the physical toll, the extra time taken for Adnan to complete a delivery nowadays meant he is not able to make as many deliveries as he used to. Instead of his usual 12, he can only complete three to four deliveries in a day now, he said.

For Adnan, being a food delivery rider was the turning point in his life, he said in an interview in 2017. Though he initially had a desk-bound office job, Adnan, who only attended school until Primary five, was eventually let go as his employer was afraid he would fall due to his disability.

Now, all he can do is grit his teeth and follow the new rules.

In a Facebook post on Nov 8, Jurong GRC MP Tan Wu Meng assured members of the public that he is aware of Adnan's situation and has asked if any of his agencies are able to help him.

A number of Clementi residents have written to me, concerned about Encik Saire Adnan who also lives in Clementi. I met...

Posted by Tan Wu Meng 陈有明 on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Adnan isn't the only food delivery rider affected by the ban. On Nov 12, about 300 riders turned up in the largest meet-the-people-session thus far to make their concerns heard by the Senior Minister of State for Transport, Lam Pin Min.

rainercheung@asiaone.com