Support Pours In For Food Delivery Agent Who Risked Job But Refused To Deliver Meat Inside Temple Premises

Support Pours In For Food Delivery Agent Who Risked Job But Refused To Deliver Meat Inside Temple Premises

by Swati Goel Sharma - Friday, March 10, 2023 05:52 PM IST
Support Pours In For Food Delivery Agent Who Risked Job But Refused To Deliver Meat Inside Temple PremisesFood delivery agent Sachin Panchal gives up his job to preserve religious values.
  • People show solidarity with food delivery agent Sachin Panchal, who stood up for religious values.

Last Tuesday (28 February), a food delivery agent associated with Swiggy ran into a disagreement with a customer.

When the agent, Sachin Panchal, discovered that the location to deliver the meat dish is inside the premises of a temple, he declined the delivery.

The dish was a plate of mutton korma, and Panchal felt it was against his religious sentiments to take meat inside a place of worship.

When the customer raised a complaint against him on the Swiggy app, Panchal flatly told his team that he would not take meat inside the premises and his decision was final.

Panchal then left the spot, but not before recording some videos on the spot explaining his position.

The videos, seen by Swarajya, show Panchal pointing to the customer’s shop located in the temple premises and the receipt of his order. Watch the videos made by him here.

Panchal is seen saying that the customer, Abhishek Sharma, runs a shop named Ram Kachori, which is located inside the four walls of the premises built around the main temple of Marghat Baba Hanuman in Kashmere Gate area of New Delhi.

He shared the videos with his friends and asked them to circulate those, hoping that he would be saved from a penalty from the company.

To his utter surprise, he began getting calls from news channels and publications a few days later. The videos had gone viral and reporters had tracked him down.

Panchal told the reporters that the company had blocked his ID after the incident, pending inquiry. He reiterated his position that taking meat inside the temple premises was wrong and he could not be a part of the “paap” (sin).

The news spread quickly, and triggered a Hindu organisation into staging a protest outside the Kachori shop on 6 March. The protesters said they had got the shop sealed.

The next day, Panchal was invited to the premises by the temple authorities and felicitated for upholding values. Temple in-charge Vaibhav Sharma told those present that he would try to get Panchal a job in the temple management.

When Swarajya spoke to Panchal the next day, that is on 8 March (also the festival of Holi), he said that he was still unable to grasp the massive attention towards him. “I did not know the matter would escalate so much. My phone has not stopped ringing for two days,” he said.

Panchal said that his ID was temporarily blocked by Swiggy, but was soon reinstated. However, he chose to quit the company.

He explained his decision, “companies expect delivery agents to keep customers happy at all cost. That’s our primary job. But I happened to make the company lose a customer.”

Panchal said that he feared that in the coming days, he would be harassed over trivial matters by his team, and thus he chose to end his association with the company.

“It is not about just this one customer. Many more who bring meat into the premises through food delivery apps might hesitate to do so, fearing controversy. And so, I do not see a bright future for myself in this job,” he said.

Does Panchal regret his decision? “Not at all,” he says.

“I am proud that Shri Balaji chose me to put a stop on the ‘paap’ of eating meat inside his temple.”

After the incident went viral, audio conversation between Panchal and the customer emerged. The audio reveals that when Panchal told the customer that the temple was just a few steps away, the latter told him that "it was okay" and the delivery agent should not give him "gyan" and instead do his job.

When Panchal said that he would not bring meat inside, the customer told him that he ordered meat all 365 days of the year at the same location. Read the conversation here.

Panchal told Swarajya that this revelation made him angry and he took a firm decision.

“I found that it was not a one-off act, but a habit. His statement revealed that he gives prasad to devotees all day while eating meat from the same hands," he said.

"We don't even take onion or garlic inside temples. Then how can meat be allowed? Even the government does not allow it. Isn’t this hurtful to people’s sentiments and also to the deity?” he added.

Panchal is a vegetarian. He says he delivers meat dishes as part of his job, although he would not like to directly touch meat.

Panchal, who belongs to the Lohar jaati which comes under backward castes, lives in a rented house in New Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. Though he has been born and raised in the capital city, he has never owned a house.

The 30-year-old is married and has two children – a son aged seven years and a daughter aged five.

Many readers who learnt Panchal’s story have come forward to support him financially. While a non-government organisation is raising funds for him, he has got some job offers as well.

“I am told that a lot of people approached the temple management after learning that I lost my employment for doing my duty for 'dharma'. They made job offers. All of yesterday, I met people regarding their offers,” Panchal told Swarajya today.

“If you have a suitable job for me, please suggest,” he told this correspondent.

He added, “please make sure they don’t hire me for the optics and fire me within two months. I want a job to sustain my family. I am the sole bread-earner."

Swati Goel Sharma is a senior editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @swati_gs.

Join our Telegram channel - no spam or links, only crisp analysis.
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.