Ola Chief Executive and co-founder Bhavish Agarwal's company will donate Rs 20 crore for drivers left unemployed due to the 21-day lockdown imposed to combat coronavirus by the Narendra Modi government. Agarwal himself will contribute his annual salary to the 'Drive the Driver Fund' initiative by the ride hailing app.
Millions of drivers & their families find themselves without an income today. To support them, we are launching the ‘Drive the Driver’ fund. I'm contributing my next year salary and Ola along with employees will contribute ₹20 cr to the fund. https://t.co/bR561tZ7Es 1/2 pic.twitter.com/KUZiOxWaFl— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) March 27, 2020
Through this initiative, the company seeks to raise Rs 50 crore via crowdfunding to secure funds for auto rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers working with Ola. Ola currently has a global fleet of 20 lakh cabs associated with it.
The initiative is focused on areas like emergency support, essential supplies and free medical consultation as these services are of utmost importance during a time of crisis. The ride-hailing giant also plans to take up initiatives to support drivers in areas such as financial aid for children's education, an India Today report said.
According to Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola, "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."
Drive The Driver Fund, however, is not the first initiative announced by Ola to support its partner drivers. Last week, Ola announced a special COVID-19 insurance cover for partner drivers and their spouses. The ride- hailing company has also waived leased rentals, that are like EMI, for partner drivers who operate vehicles owned by Ola's subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies.