Driving into a bleak future

Business National Pandemic

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise and cities go under lockdown again, driving schools across the country suffer over 70 percent loss.

Bengaluru: Pre-Covid days used to be hectic for Aniruddha Gupta, owner of Best Bangalore Driving School. He taught at least 20 students a day before the pandemic. Now the situation is different. 

“We have not been able to sustain during the pandemic. It has been difficult for us. We have had to lay off many of our instructors as there was no revenue. We have incurred almost 70 percent loss during the pandemic,” said Aniruddha.

Students say that they had to drop the classes when the pandemic struck and haven’t been able to take up the classes till date. “Our learner’s license expired in six months, now we have to renew our license to take the classes and the test,” Shreya, a student, said.

Aniruddha added that they usually get college students during the summer vacations and now due to the lockdown there will be none. “We are taking money out of our pockets to keep our vehicles up to the mark. We are not sure how long we can last without any relief or support from anywhere.”

Dr. Janaki Ram an economist said that this sector has suffered a lot during the pandemic. “Unlike auto drivers and taxi drivers, this sector was not given any subsidy during both lockdowns,” he said.

He added that the vehicles that the driving schools have become dead stock when not taken care of, or used on a regular basis. He added, “If the schools had taken a loan, they were not given any concession during the lockdown period, and they had no revenue to pay the instalments, which made it even more difficult for them.” 

According to Dr. Janaki this has been a neglected sector during the pandemic, which should be taken under consideration and be provided with some relief.