Ride-hailing platform Ola launched ‘Drive the Driver Fund under Ola Foundation, with Rs 20 crore donation from Ola group and its employees that will support auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers during the tough COVID-19 times.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola would forgo his salary for one year that would go towards the fund.
The company, which has a global fleet of over 20 lakh driver-partners, aims to raise up to Rs 50 crore via its crowdfunding initiative towards the drivers’ fund that will help drivers on any platform or services, it said in a statement.
“The crisis at this time has left thousands of drivers who form the backbone of shared mobility without an income. 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, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola.
The initiative would 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 would 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 amongst others, said the company.
“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,” said Subramanian.
Last week, Ola announced a special COVID-19 insurance cover exclusive for its driver partners and their spouses.
The company has also 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.
The mobility industry has been brought to a grinding standstill during the 21-day lockdown, and the driver community has been finding it hard to pay for their family expenses without a source of income.