Ola launches ‘Drive the Driver Fund’ to offer relief to the driver community

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 27, 2020

Two days after the nationwide lockdown, which has left the country’s drivers without any daily income, ride-hailing platform Ola, announced the launch of a ‘Drive the Driver Fund’, an initiative under its social welfare arm, Ola Foundation.

The fund aims to support auto-rickshaw, cab, and taxi drivers, through contributions from the Ola group, investors and via a crowdfunding platform for citizens and other institutions. The proceeds of the fund will go towards the welfare of drivers and their families, who have been affected by the restrictions due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. The Ola group and its employees will contribute ₹20 crore, while Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola, will forgo one year’s salary, both of which will go towards the fund. Ola aims to raise up to ₹50 crore for the Fund.

This initiative will focus on key areas such as emergency support and essential supplies, which are of utmost importance to drivers during these challenging times. Drivers and their families will also have access to free medical consultation. In due course, Ola Foundation will also take up initiatives to support drivers in areas such as aid for children's education, among others.

“The crisis at this time has left thousands of drivers who form the backbone of shared mobility without an income. To support them in this testing time, we are launching the ‘Drive the Driver’ fund, which will provide bare necessities to all driver partners, across auto-rickshaws and kaali peelis (black and yellow cabs) in the form of essential supplies and free medical and emergency support. To this effect, the Ola group has come together to contribute the initial capital for the fund, which can be used to provide immediate aid” said Anand Subramanian, head of communications, Ola.

“Millions of drivers and their families have been affected, and even a humble contribution can have a lasting impact on their well-being. We invite all the stakeholders of the mobility industry to join us in every way you can, and support the people who move us in this difficult phase. We will be stronger together” added Subramanian.

Last week, the company announced a special Covid-19 insurance cover exclusively for its driver partners and their spouses. Additionally Ola fully waived lease rentals, akin to an EMI, for driver partners who operate vehicles owned by Ola’s subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies, under its leasing programme. It has also formed a robust task-force consisting of members from various internal departments to ensure continuous monitoring and 24x7 availability of partner care and safety response teams for any concerns.

Published on March 27, 2020

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