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Published on: Oct. 15, 2020, 2:37 p.m.
Ola provides 120,000 meals to drivers through The Akshaya Patra Foundation
  • Ola Foundation is feeding its drivers through Akshaya Patra

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

Helping communities affected by the continuing crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic to move ahead requires collective action and support, explains Ola’s communications head Anand Subramanian.

In pursuit of this objective, the vehicle-hire major’s social welfare arm, Ola Foundation, is serving 120,000 meals to support its driver partner network. This is a part of the nationwide initiative ‘Drive the Driver Fund’ that Ola Foundation launched at the outset of the pandemic in March. The Foundation has now partnered with The Akshaya Patra Foundation to deliver wholesome meal kits to drivers and their families across 13 Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Jaipur.

“As India continues to embrace the new normal, we are continuing our drive to support the driver community at large, partnering with Akshaya Patra to further serve tens of thousands of families in yet another small way through this nationwide initiative,” Subramanian says.

The fund’s initiative, focussed on key areas like emergency support and essential supplies which are of great significance to driver partners during these challenging times, has already enabled more than 10 million meals for this community. Drivers and their families have also been provided access to free medical consultation, he adds.

Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, describes Ola as “a corporate with a heart” and appreciates the Foundation’s quick response in reaching out to its drivers and their families. “They have shown immense empathy to those stakeholders who keep their business growing and thriving,” he says.

The Foundation, backed by Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, is working towards empowering women, the driver community and vulnerable groups around the country with a vision of transforming lives by strengthening food security for local communities, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help communities thrive.

Akshaya Patra, a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Bengaluru which is facilitating the on-ground implementation of the initiative, sees the meal distribution drive as being in line with the Ola Foundation’s goal of extending its support to the driver community by building on its previous efforts to ensure the well-being of its driver-partners and their families. Over the past 20 years, it has worked to address issues like hunger and malnutrition in the country, implementing the mid-day meal scheme in government-run and government-aided schools. It now serves wholesome food to over 1.8 million children from 19,039 schools across 12 states and two union territories.


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