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Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal to give 1 year salary to fight coronavirus; co sets up 20 crore relief fund

FE Online

Ride-hailing major Ola's CEO Bhavish Aggarwal will not take a year's salary and the same will be deployed against fighting the coronavirus. The homegrown startup has launched a relief fund for supporting auto-rickshaw, cab, and taxi drivers, among others, across India in the testing times. "The proceeds of the fund will help towards the welfare and upliftment of drivers and their families who have been affected by the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Ola said in a statement on Friday. While the initial amount for the fund has been set at 20 crore, the company aims to raise about 50 crore. Contributions towards the fund will come via Ola group members, investors and a crowdfunding platform for citizens and other institutions.

The nation is under a 21-day lockdown due to coronavirus and the same is expected to deliver a severe blow to the daily wage earners. "The mobility industry has been brought to a grinding standstill during these stressed times, and the driver community has been finding it hard to pay for their family expenses without a source of income," Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola, said. Via the raised amount, the company will provide daily essential items, medical and emergency support to its driver partners.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis is posing great threat to India's unorganised and seasonal workforce as several industries are staring at massive revenue losses in the wake of the coronavirus. Several sectors such as aviation, restaurants, retail and hospitality are expecting breakdowns in the aftermath of coronavirus, according to several reports and industry experts. The country was put under a 21-day lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and the same is likely to cause major disruptions to the Indian economy. Meanwhile, the total cases of coronavirus have crossed 800 mark in the country with around 20 deaths so far.