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A 22-year-old Uber Eats rider who died after his bike collided with an SUV in Sydney last month has been identified as an Indian student from Mumbai.
Akshay Doultani, who came to Sydney in February on a scholarship to study Master’s degree in finance at Macquarie University, died at the Royal North Shore hospital on July 22.
Confirming his identity, Labor senator Tony Sheldon told the parliament earlier this week that Akshay was the 12th food delivery rider to be killed while on the job since 2017.
“Akshay came to this country on a scholarship to pursue his dreams and give his family a brighter future,” Sheldon said on Monday.
“At around 8 p.m. at the intersection of Blaxland Road and Epping Road, in Epping, Akshay was making a delivery on his scooter when he was hit by an SUV.”
Akshay’s cousin told ABC News that the only reason why he wanted to come abroad was to provide more amenities for his family so they could live a lifestyle that was much better.
To pay his fees, Akshay worked as a food delivery rider at least three times a week.
“It’s very hard for the parents to digest that their only son is no more,” Sunil Paryani, who travelled all the way from Hong Kong to collect his nephew’s body, told ABC News.
The fatal crash is currently being investigated by the New South Wales (NSW) Police and Safework NSW.
“Akshay’s tragic loss is another reminder of how dangerous the gig economy can be… where workers are forced to push themselves to the limit just to make ends meet,” Sheldon said.
Further, the senator called for a transport reform to ensure that the gig workers, numbering approximately 250,000 in the industry, get basic employment rights as well as right compensation.
In a statement shared by ABC, Uber Eats said it was committed to the safety of delivery workers and had policies in place to enhance road safety.
“In Australia, Uber Eats delivery people are covered by a support package designed specifically for them,” a company spokesperson said.