Ola Cabs To Train 50,000 Women Drivers To Promote Micro Entrepreneurship
Certainly, someone is doing their homework. Keep up with the changing times – Say hello to women cab drivers soon!
Ola aims to create at least 50,000 woman driver-entrepreneurs in 3 years! We can’t exactly decipher the effect of Deepika’s “My Choice” video with the masses especially women, but this initiative by Ola is applaudable for actually empowering women.
On 8th April, Ola has announced that they have signed an MoU with Empower Pragathi (an investee company of NSDC) and Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC). ASDC will assist Ola in training, skill development and guiding the aspirant women drivers. Right after the Uber Delhi Rape case, Ola had come out with pink taxis in metros. Proving their concern for women again in this new development is a great step ahead.
Finalizing the MoU in the presence of Mr. Sunil Arora (Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Mr Arvind Singhatiya, VP, Ola Cabs illustrating the whole initiative said, “This initiative is in line with Ola’s mission to up-skill drivers and help them become entrepreneurs. We believe that a better world begins with women and empowering them to be entrepreneurs can create a balanced ecosystem in this space. While ASDC will bring in standardized curriculum and certification norms, Empower Pragati will help with mobilizing, designing content, execution of the training on-ground and in ongoing counseling and handholding. Ola,as a technology platform will help create opportunities for these trained drivers by giving them access to infrastructure, financing and continuous revenue.”
Also Mr. Sunil Arora, Secretary – Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship expressed his view saying, “The initiative by Ola is a big step forward towards women empowerment. There is a potential to earn a respectable income in this field for women but security and safety must be focused on. In our country, such initiatives need to be scaled up significantly. We need to create role models out of the women that become a part of this initiative to inspire other women to take up this trade. The training as per the standards set by the SSC will enable standardization in the services that are delivered to the customers. We encourage all such initiatives and look forward to more and more companies enabling more inclusiveness in their workforce.”
The scheme laid down, aims at shortlisting women candidates and training them in driving as well as imparting computer literacy. This training will be certified by ASDC, hence the skill development course will fetch them jobs in varied industries for their skill, which means they can choose to work with Ola or someone else after the certificate has been handed to them. The first trainings are scheduled to start in Delhi and will be replicated in other cities.
Providing a brief on it’s achievements so far, Mr Sunil K Chaturvedi said, “ASDC, the first sector skill council in India, is responsible for defining industry skill standards for various job roles in the Automotive and Transportation Industry. There are 18 job roles in Driving including the Qualification Pack & National Occupational Standards for Taxi Driver job role. This partnership will help deliver training as per the ASDC norms and candidates will undergo an assessment leading to government recognized ASDC certificate. Till date, we have enabled training of nearly 150,000 youth for various job roles. Out of these, nearly 35,000 were women candidates including 700 Women Drivers.” A study on women employment conducted by NSSO points out that only 22% of the women in India are earning livelihoods in prominent fields.
The different facets of the training are quite impressive and can be rather called a “grooming process” for the women drivers. Their curriculum includes:
- Driving theory and practice
- Basic mechanic skills
- Map reading
- Communication and spoken English classes
- Imparting knowledge of hard and soft skills
Ola will then help them procure driving permits/licenses, and placing them with private car fleets as personal chauffeurs. Promoting the financial independence, the under privileged women are the company’s focus. To turn many home makers into bread winners, this plan surely is a very noble one. Ola is currently the leading Cab operators and this initiative has just propelled it’s speed on the success lane.
Also not to forget, Ola’s firm reply to the narrow minded tweet asking for a Hindu driver by a twitter user saw the rise of a new found respect for the company. But once the company has trained women drivers, most girls will agree that asking for a woman driver isn’t looked down upon. We hope the discrimination there will be pardoned.