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Miserable grabbiker carried 8-month-old son along his work under baking heat of HCMC

10:43 | 04/08/2020

Making both ends meet while the old mother still has to sell lottery tickets to earn their living, Mr. Hieu - a GrabBike driver - takes his infant son along with each ride amid the scorching heatwave of around 37 to 38 degree Celsius in Ho Chi Minh City. 

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Over the last few months, many Saigonese have seen a motorbike driver carrying a baby strapped neatly to his chest with some photographs of the duo going viral on social media, VnExpress reported.

Tran Nguyen Thien Nhan, the eight-month-old baby has reluctantly become a working companion for his father, 38-year-old Nguyen Trung Hieu.

After borrowing some money from the bank for a startup, Hieu and his wife went bankrupt when the business failed. Besides, Covid-19 pandemic has led to a lot of difficulties for them. The couple rend a studio apartment and the financial burden became too much to bear while his wife had been left jobless and there is a three-year-old son to take care and the younger newborn also demands a caretaker in case the parent is out for work some days.

miserable grabbiker carried 8 month old son along his work under baking heat of hcmc
Hieu as a motorbike taxi driver for ride-hailing firm Grab, and his eight-month-old son on a Saigon's street. Photo courtesy of Hieu's passenger.

Recently, his wife has been accepted to a shift work as a saleswoman at a small supermarket. So the older son is taken care by his grandmother, 70, who still has to sell lottery tickets to earn their living, according to VTC News.

"Therefore, I have no choice but to bring my youngest child to work with me. If my wife works a morning shift, I have to take her to work with me and vice versa. We take turns to take care of the child", said Hieu.

The GrabBike father spent almost a month to prepare for his little son's first trip with him. He bought clothes, diapers, milk, raincoat, towels for the boy for the three hours. Rainy days are more challenging since the raincoat does not afford total protection against strong downpours.

miserable grabbiker carried 8 month old son along his work under baking heat of hcmc
Mr. Hieu's 8-month-old son. Photo: Mr. Hieu.

As he takes his passengers to their destinations, Hieu keeps a watchful eye on his son. Sometimes, he takes Nhan to places with some shade to protect him from prolonged exposure to sunlight, so the baby gets some rest.

If his wife goes to work in the evening, Hieu and Nhan venture out from around 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"It is hot these days, and sometimes he cries. I feel sad, but I have no choice. If he cries too much, I turn off the application and go home," Hieu said.

Having a baby along makes it more difficult to work, sometimes. Many customers have refused to get on Hieu's bike after seeing the baby.

"Since I started taking my son to work, passengers have reacted differently. Everyone is surprised, some feel sorry and show care, others get annoyed and cancel the ride," Hieu said.

miserable grabbiker carried 8 month old son along his work under baking heat of hcmc
Another GrabBike father takes infant along in each ride amid Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: saostar.vn.

Some patrons have talked about the father-son duo on social media, and this has also attracted both positive and negative comments. Many people say Hieu is melodramatic and playing the sympathy card.

"The family is in poverty; and I have no choice rather than take my son to work," he said. "Although a teacher told me not to care about what other people say, I spend sleepless nights thinking how to earn money and bring up my children properly."

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