The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has gripped the entire world, affecting over 2 million people. To contain and to control the spread, the Indian government announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, 2020. And life as we know it came to a grinding halt with schools, offices, shops, malls and all modes of transport being shut down.
Ravi, like most Office Ride driver partners, is the sole breadwinner of his family.
“My family looks up to me to earn money, and this lockdown has made it difficult to earn a living. Over the past couple of weeks things have become so difficult that I didn’t have any money to buy diabetes medicines for my elderly parents who stay with me,” says Ravi who has been with Office Ride for the last 5 months.
To help drivers like Ravi overcome these challenging times, Ford Mobility India, launched an online fundraiser - “The Office Ride Driver Fund” - to provide essential supplies, medical and emergency support.
Speaking about the campaign, R. Mahadevan, country director, Ford Mobility India said, “Our driver partners are not just an essential part of Office Ride, they are our family. As the world comes to a standstill, now is the time they need us the most. Every contribution is not just putting food on their table but also helping their entire family through these challenging times.”
In little over a week, the online campaign managed to raise over Rs. 9.40 lakhs from 800 donors across the country. Through NGO partners, Office Ride has already begun distributing groceries and essentials, supporting over 160 drivers in Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
In addition to the fundraising campaign, through the GTBC CSR initiative, Office Ride deployed 25 vehicles to support Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 relief effort during the lockdown. These vehicles were assigned to various Corporation Zones in Chennai city for transporting medical staff and health workers and transit of critical medical / safety equipment.
Office Ride vehicles were also used to deliver 9000 face shields manufactured by the Ford Chennai Plant to the Chennai Corporation. These face shields are being distributed to the medical staff, health workers, corporation staff and anyone else on the front lines of COVID-19.
“Ford employees around the world are helping build health care equipment, providing vehicles and support services, assisting dealers and customers, and volunteering in local communities. In this fight against COVID-19, Ford is truly united globally as one,” said Brett Wheatley, director, mobility businesses.
Ford’s Office Ride is an app-based shared mobility solution for corporate employees across seven cities in India. With over 34,000 rides every single day, Office Ride aims to provide a smarter, safer and happier daily commute, and helps reduce traffic, congestion and pollution by encouraging the use of shared mobility.