Ride-hailing unicorn Ola CEO and cofounder Bhavish Aggarwal has again come forward to lend a helping hand in the time of crisis, with an offer of 500 Ola cars to the Karnataka government for Covid-19 pandemic-related work.
As per an ET report, Aggarwal assured deputy CM CN Ashwathnarayan that the government is free to decide how many cars it requires in every city that Ola is present in the state. These regions include Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubli-Dharwad and Belagavi.
The Deputy CM has also conveyed Ola’s offer to the district officials and has decided to make Ola taxis available for healthcare staffers, transportation of medicine and other essential healthcare services for emergencies.
The report follows Ola’s announcement of the ‘Drive the Driver Fund’ in order to assure financial stability for driver-partners working with Ola. To contribute to the fund, Aggarwal also decided to forgo a year’s salary. Besides this, Ola Group and its employees have also crowdfunded INR 20 Cr to help out the driver-partners.
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
Anand Subramanian, 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. Millions of drivers and their families have been affected, and even a humble contribution can have a lasting impact on their wellbeing.”
The company said that the fund aims to support auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, through a collaborative crowdfunding effort made by the Ola group, investors, citizens and other institutions. The fund will be used to support the welfare and upliftment of drivers and their families, who have been affected by the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funds will be used to offer medical support, emergency support and other essential supplies to the driver-partners. Besides this, Ola has also decided to offer a COVID-19 insurance cover to its driver-partners and their spouses. The company has also waived odd all EMIs on leased cars and set up a task-forces consisting of members from various internal departments.
Moreover, Ola Foundation has decided to take up initiatives to support drivers in other possible ways in the long run.