Ride-hailing unicorn Ola has joined hands with GiveIndia, a Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation, to launch O2forIndia initiative to provide free oxygen concentrators to those in need.
Through its philanthropic arm Ola Foundation, the company will be rolling out the service in Bengaluru this week with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators. The service will be scaled up to provide 10,000 concentrators across India in the coming weeks, said a press note shared by Ola.
“We must come together and help our communities during these unprecedented times. We hope this initiative brings much-needed support during these very difficult times and helps in mitigating the pain and anxiety among those impacted,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola.
People will be able to place a request for oxygen concentrators through the Ola app by providing a few basic details. Once the request is placed, one of Ola’s cab drivers will pick up the oxygen concentrators and deliver it to those in need and pick it up once they no longer need it. The concentrator and transportation are both free, said Bhavish.
“Through this initiative, we will provide oxygen concentrators to those recovering or isolating at home, right at their doorstep. We hope the easier access to oxygen will ease the distress of many patients,” Atul Satija, CEO and Founder 2.0 at GiveIndia, said.
The second wave of COVID-19 has seen Indian citizens gasping for air. With constantly rising cases, hospitals in cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and others have been facing a shortage of oxygen concentrators. And People have taken to social media like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp to seek help.
In the last couple of weeks, many startups have also started offering COVID-related help. While fintech giant Paytm launched COVID-19 vaccine finder to help users track slot availability real-time and organised a fundraiser to donate oxygen concentrators, Cred partnered with a fundraising platform to distribute oxygen across the country.