Uber offers 12,000 free rides to National Association for the Blind in 8 Indian cities
Ride-hailing major Uber on Tuesday said it has partnered with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi, to facilitate 12,000 free rides (worth over Rs 25 lakh) to blind, low-vision, and other disabled persons, as well as their caregivers and teachers.
The association — which will be valid from October to December 2020 — will enable their safe access to educational and training institutes and workplaces in eight cities, Uber said.
These cities include Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chennai, and Kolkata. In each of these cities, Uber's partnership with NAB will be implemented in collaboration with its local chapter — NAB Delhi in New Delhi.
According to the 2011 census, India has over 268 million people with disabilities and comprises about one-third of the global blind population — the highest such number in the world.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the lives of people with disabilities. Visually impaired persons cannot avoid touch and cannot maintain physical distancing in their true sense. When blind persons travel in public transport, they are at high risk, since inadvertently, they are likely to get close to fellow commuters. We are thrilled that with Uber’s support, such risks can be greatly minimised and opportunities for education and vocation can be unlocked,” said Prashant Ranjan Verma, General Secretary, NAB.
Ever since the pandemic began, Uber has been proactive in aiding the vulnerable communities, as well as its partner-drivers.
Speaking about the partnership, Uber India and South Asia President Prabhjeet Singh said, “At Uber, we are committed to supporting some of the most vulnerable citizens in the country, impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the visually impaired… We look forward to a meaningful partnership with the National Association for the Blind as it gives us the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those, who are often denied these options because of their disabilities.’’
Earlier, it partnered with CHILDLINE 1098 to provide 30,000 free rides to the first responders and child care professionals to reach out to the children in distress.
It also partnered with HelpAge India to provide free rides to underprivileged elderly people. With the Robin Hood Army — a volunteer-based organisation that fights hunger — Uber delivered free meals to those impacted by the pandemic.
It has also facilitated over 280,000 free rides to the National Health Authority (NHA) and other government offices across India to help frontline healthcare workers and volunteers.
These free rides were a part of a larger global commitment made by Uber to donate 10 million free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need.