Social enterprise company Three Wheels United (TWU) has said it will provide a guaranteed minimum income to auto drivers in Bengaluru during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the latest initiative, participating drivers will deliver essential services such as groceries and medicines to the elderly, either at low or free of cost, Bengaluru based TWU said in a statement.
“The uncertainty caused by Covid-19 has impacted the livelihoods of many across the country. During these challenging times, we are committed to supporting autorickshaw drivers and their families,” Rosemary Pierce-Messick, executive director, Three Wheels United Foundation, said, adding that the company’s management has also forfeited a part of its salary.
TWU told TechCircle that it has collaborated with local shops for the initiative. Shop owners can book drivers by filling a form on its website.
“We have a network of over 30,000 drivers in Bangalore. We expect to utilize potentially a few hundred throughout the city based on the demand. The drivers require special permission from the police department to conduct delivery services and we do not want to promote unsafe practices of large gatherings of people,” Pierce-Messick said.
In addition, Drivers are also being equipped with necessary precautionary materials, such as hand sanitizers, and are “trained to provide this delivery with no-contact,” the statement added.
Founded in 2010 by social entrepreneur Ramesh Prabhu, TWU provides financing solutions for auto drivers to own light electric vehicles such as electric autorickshaws.
Last month, it rolled out an autorickshaw buyback scheme to promote the adoption of electric autorickshaws in the country. As per the scheme, autorickshaw drivers can sell their existing pollutive vehicles that are older than ten years to the company and purchase a new electric vehicle (EV).