NEW DELHI: Ride-hailing platform Ola on Friday launched ‘Drive the Driver' Fund under Ola Foundation, with Rs 20 crore donation from Ola group and its employees which 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 will go towards the fund.
The company, which features a global fleet of over 20 lakh driver-partners, aims to collect up to Rs 50 crore via its crowdfunding initiative towards the drivers' fund which will help drivers on any platform or services, it said during a statement.
"The crisis at this point has left thousands of drivers who form the backbone of shared mobility without an income. The Ola group has decided to contribute the initial capital for the fund, which may be put to use to provide immediate aid," said Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola.
The initiative would target key areas like emergency support and essential supplies, which are of utmost importance to drivers during these challenging times.
Drivers and their families would even have access to free medical consultation.
In due course, Ola Foundation also will take up initiatives to support drivers in areas like aid for children's education amongst others, said the corporate.
"We invite all the stakeholders of the mobility industry help us in every way you'll be able to and support the people that move us during this difficult phase. We'll 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, similar 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 therefore the driver community has been finding it hard to get their family expenses without a source of income.