Ola Foundation, the social welfare arm of Ola, today released a report detailing the impact of the ‘Drive The Driver’ fund and its efforts in assisting driver-partners and their families during the ongoing Covid crisis. The fund has helped 55,918 families, enabling 9.3 million meals and aiding 843 medical emergencies across 25 cities.

Launched in March, the fund assisted the driver community through contributions from the Ola Group, its employees, Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, investors, as well as crowdfunding from citizens and other institutions.

The ‘Drive The Driver’ fund was launched with the aim of helping driver partners and their families during these uncertain times. The intention behind the fund was to provide short- and long-term assistance to the driver-community as they continue to recover from the economic impact of the crisis.

Economic lifeline

Utilising the contributions made to the fund, the Ola Foundation set up 200 locations to distribute care packages with essentials comprising food staples, including rice, flour and lentils — sufficient to feed a family of four for two weeks. Prioritising the safety of every person involved in this undertaking, the Ola Foundation put in place strict sanitisation guidelines to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

The fund also provided an economic lifeline for the drivers and their families by catering to medical emergencies faced by them during the lockdown. The Ola Foundation financially aided 843 families in over 119 cities. Not limited to covering hospital bills, the fund also facilitated emergency medical support for chronic and acute illnesses, pregnancies, diabetes, heart conditions alongside medications and other treatments.

Jeevan Singh, a recipient of the emergency medical fund, said: My daughter was born with a heart condition and her second surgery was due during the lockdown period. It was difficult to put food on the table, let alone pool money for the surgery and the additional medical tests. It was at this juncture I contacted Ola Foundation’s ‘Drive The Driver’ fund, and was quickly helped with ₹1,00,000 for the medical expenses. The money helped cover the operation, additional procedures as well as medicines for my daughter. As a homage to Ola Foundation, I want to educate my daughter so that she can also aid the families who are in dire need of help.”

Honour to serve

“The onset of Covid brought about an unprecedented crisis for many including the thousands of drivers who form the backbone of our country’s mobility ecosystem. It has been our honour to serve them in their time of need. Since the launch of the fund, we have witnessed unbelievable support from within our ecosystem and from citizens and consumers.

“We are extremely grateful and thankful for these contributions that have enabled all the impact so far. We also want to express our gratitude to the local authorities, various state governments, and the Central government for guiding us and enabling our efforts throughout. We will continue to serve and support driver communities through the ‘Drive The Driver’ fund as we help them and their families through their various challenges in these trying times.” said Anand Subramanian, spokesperson, Ola.