Covid-19 impact: Bengaluru enterprise TWU extends a helping hand to auto drivers

Our Bureau | Updated on March 24, 2020

In the bargain, elderly consumers and local stores too benefit

Bengaluru, March 24

In light of the current coronavirus impact in the city, Three Wheels United (TWU), a Bengaluru-based social enterprise, has launched a programme for auto drivers to provide delivery services for residents in the city who are in need of essential goods like groceries and medicines.

As ride hailing plummets, auto rickshaw drivers have less revenue due to decreased actitivy. In line with its mission to improve the livelihoods of auto rickshaw drivers, TWU is providing participating drivers a guaranteed minimum income during these tough times.

Besides supporting their drivers, this public initiative has two other goals — one, to help individuals, especially the elderly, access essential services, two, to help local stores make enough income by connecting them to consumers who are in need of their services. This delivery service will be provided at a low cost or free of cost for the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly and lower-income households.

Financing green moves

Rosemary Pierce-Messick, Executive Director of Three Wheels United Foundation, said, “The uncertainty caused by Covid-19 has impacted the livelihoods of many across the country. During these challenging times, we are committed to supporting auto rickshaw drivers and their families. The TWU management is forfeiting a large part of their salary to make this possible. It is a small gesture but we hope it will make a big difference”

Three Wheels United is a Bengaluru based social enterprise that offers holistic financing solutions for auto drivers to own a light electric vehicle, such as an electric auto rickshaw. It was started with an aim to reduce pollution while generating more income for light vehicle operators by helping them switch to electric vehicles.

The company has offered over 30,000 drivers various products and services and has financed over 2,500 auto rickshaws with a default rate of less than 1 per cent, resulting in reduction of 28,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and the generation of an extra $90 million in income for the drivers.

Published on March 24, 2020

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