Ride-hailing firm Ola on Thursday unveiled an initiative to enable sustainable livelihoods for 500,000 women through its social welfare arm, Ola Foundation. The Foundation will focus on enabling economic empowerment for women through employment-linked skills training, financial literacy and social empowerment through life-skills education.
Set up in December 2016, Ola Foundation has been actively involved in projects related to women empowerment over the last two years. Observations, research and interactions with women, including spouses of Ola’s driver-partners in Bengaluru, have shown how active participation by women in the workforce can significantly improve quality of life for the whole family. The foundation’s training programmes so far include training in textile production and printing, financial and digital literacy programs, health awareness, and vocational skills.
“Women can play a transformative role in society. Ola Foundation’s vision is to provide them access to resources and opportunities to create and bring about sustainable change in their lives, their families and in turn the community at large,” said Srinivas Chunduru, mentor at Ola Foundation and group chief human resources officer. “Our pilot programs have demonstrated that financial and social independence for women can bring about a significant improvement in the well-being of their families. We are excited to work with various partners and patrons towards our mission to build sustainable livelihoods for 500,000 women by 2025,” added Chunduru.
Ola Foundation has partnered with various organisations to deliver programmes that will focus on economic and social empowerment of women. In partnership with 2Coms, an National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) certified vocational training partner, the Foundation will train women with skills that would qualify them for employment that will help them become financially independent. Additionally, in partnership with Buzz India, the foundation will also impart the fundamentals of financial literacy for women to help them increase savings and reduce dependence on debt. According to a report by the Clinton Global Initiative, children’s education was prioritised in families where women were earning members and up to 90 per cent of a woman’s income was spent on children and the family.
Ola Foundation has also partnered with Gram Tarang for social empowerment and life skills training with a 60-hour interactive programme. This programme enhances specific competencies such as communication, problem-solving, decision making, health, hygiene and sanitation. “This academically proven module helps improve self-worth and increases confidence among women leading to holistic development,” said Ola.