Ola launches crowdfunding platform 'Drive the Driver Fund' amid coronavirus crisis

Ola, the Bengaluru-based ride-hailing platform, has launched a crowdfunding platform - Drive the Driver Fund. It aims to offer relief to the driver community, affected by the spread of coronavirus and are unable to earn an everyday income.

Ola, the Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn, has launched a 'Drive the Driver Fund' under its social welfare arm — Ola Foundation. It aims to offer relief to the driver community. The fund enables citizen contribution to facilitate emergency support and essential supplies. 

The aim of the fund is to support the auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers, through contributions from the Ola group, investors and through crowdfunding platform for citizens and other institutions.

Elaborating on the measures, Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola, said,

“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 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.” 

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola

The initiative will focus on areas like - emergency support and essential supplies. The drivers and their families will also get access to free medical consultation. Ola Foundation will also take up initiatives to support drivers in areas such as aid for children's education among others. 

The proceeds of the fund will help towards the welfare and upliftment 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 Rs 20 crores, while Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola will forgo one year’s salary, both of which shall go towards the fund.   

"The mobility industry has been brought to a grinding standstill during these stressed times, and the driver community has been finding it hard to pay for their family expenses without a source of income. Ola’s initiative aims to bring together multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem such as customers, investors and partner organisations to participate in supporting millions of drivers and their families," said the company in a statement.

He further added, “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.”

Ola has proactively taking a number of measures to help its driver-partners and customers through the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, the company announced a special COVID-19 insurance cover exclusive for their 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 program.

Ola 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. 

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)