nIn the Thai capital, two taxi cooperatives have decided to get down to business and convert cars, which have been parked by Covid-19, into botanical gardens. The farms – the original ones at least – do not guarantee a salary, but they do help feed the families of workers financially affected by the pandemic.
The 54-year-old CEO, Thapakorn Asawallartkul, told the Associated Press that the two cooperatives involved — Ratchapruk and Povorn Taxi — have just 500 cars on the streets of Bangkok, with 2,500 parked across the city.
As is the case around the world, confinement and social isolation have had a strong impact in countries such as Thailand, where tourism is a predominant activity. There was, of course, a sudden drop in the number of customers, which prompted many taxi drivers to abandon the profession. Unable to pay the car rent, the workers had to leave them and change their lives. Thousands of vehicles have been delivered.
The gardens planted in taxis do not offer an alternative salary, but they do help feed the employees of the cooperatives. They are “an act of protest” and “a way to feed my team during this difficult period,” Thapakorn said, complaining about the lack of government support.
After infections in Thailand peaked in mid-August with 23,400 new cases, the government is now hoping the country will actually recover from this wave. In total, Thailand has confirmed 1.4 million cases and more than 14,000 deaths.
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