Sri Lanka’s “Superheroes”

February 16, 2021

After the pandemic closed its grip on Sri Lanka last year, prompting several waves of lockdowns and strict curfews, citizens scrambled for home delivery of essential supplies. PickMe—an IFC investee that was the country’s first ride-hailing app—pivoted virtually overnight into a logistics company specializing in the delivery of necessities. It also set up an emergency hotline to transport medical staff and pregnant women to and from hospitals.

The shift kept PickMe driver partners employed, including Lasanda Deepthi, PickMe’s first woman driver, who depends on the income to support her family. “Earning through PickMe is a huge deal, and I feel the difference. All what I have is from my own efforts,” she said. In this 3½-minute film, Deepthi and others share how their lives and jobs have changed since the pandemic began.

Lasanda Deepthi behind the wheel of her tuk-tuk (three-wheeled auto rickshaw) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo by: Nadun Baduge

Published in February 2021