A 34-year-old man committed suicide in Hyderabad, allegedly after he failed to pay his vehicle EMI for four months. Praveen Kumar was an Uber driver, and consumed poison on Saturday.
He was rushed to Gandhi Hospital by his family, but was declared dead on Sunday afternoon.
“He knocked the door at around 1am on Saturday. When we opened the door, we saw him lying on the ground. I rushed inside to get water for him, he was not talking or making any movement. We all got scared and took him to Gandhi Hospital,” said M Srinivas, Praveen’s brother.
Praveen’s family said that he had signed up for Uber seven months ago, and has been depressed for several months since he wasn’t able to pay the EMI.
“With a down payment of Rs 33,000 he took a TATA Indica V2 car from a finance company. However, he could only earn Rs. 21,000 even after working for 21 hours, but he had to pay a monthly EMI of Rs 27,000. He was facing a huge financial crisis. He could not pay his EMI of four months,” said Shekhar, a relative.
Srinivas claimed that officials from the finance company used to visit his house asking for money, and even harass the family.
“We used to ask him if he needs any financial help, but he was too stubborn. He would not share his problems with us. But he was depressed for past two months, that time he told me that he was worried about his family and daughters’ expenses,” his brother said.
Praveen’s death comes even as cab driver associations conducted a two-day protest against taxi aggregators, alleging lack of business.
Shiva Vulkundakar, president of Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association told TNM that Praveen used to call the customer care of Uber everyday seeking help on the issue, however, he did not get any response.
“They are increasing the number of cabs in the city but the number of customers have not changed. That is why it has become hard for drivers to make any profit and those who have taken loans for cars have been struggling to repay the money. In the last one year, this is the third driver who has committed suicide,” said Shiva.