Uber has announced a mobility partnership with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi, worth over INR 25 Lacs, to facilitate 12,000 free rides to blind, low vision and other disabled persons, as well as their caregivers and teachers.
The association, which will be valid from October to December 2020, will enable their safe access to educational and training institutes as well as work places, in eight cities: Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chennai, and Kolkata. Uber’s partnership with the NAB will be implemented in close collaboration with its local chapter- Karna Vidhya Foundation, in Chennai.
According to the 2011 census, there are 268 million disabled people in India. The country is also home to 1/3rd of the global blind population, the highest such number in the world.
Speaking about Uber’s ongoing efforts, Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India, and South Asia, said, “At Uber, we are committed to supporting some of the most vulnerable citizens in the country, impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, including the visually impaired. People with visual and other kinds of disabilities should be empowered to develop their potential to the full. We look forward to a meaningful partnership with the National Association for the Blind as it gives us an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who are often denied these options because of their disabilities.’’
Speaking about the partnership, Prashant Ranjan Verma, General Secretary of National Association for the Blind, said, “We are delighted to partner with Uber India to facilitate safe and convenient rides for the blind and multi-disabled persons, their caregivers and teachers. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the lives of people with disabilities. Visually impaired persons cannot avoid touch and cannot maintain physical distancing in its true sense. When blind persons travel in public transport, they are at high risk since inadvertently they are likely to get close to fellow commuters. We are thrilled that with Uber’s support, such risks can be greatly minimised and opportunities for education and vocation can be unlocked.”
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Uber has launched multiple initiatives to support local authorities, civil society organisations, State Governments as well as Chief Minister’s Offices.
As a part of these, Uber recently partnered with CHILDLINE 1098 to provide 30,000 free rides to their first responders and child care professionals for reaching and attending to children in distress. Earlier, it partnered with HelpAge India to provide free rides to underprivileged elderly people and Robin Hood Army, for one of the largest food relief efforts by civic society.
It also facilitated over 280,000 free rides to the National Health Authority (NHA) as well as various city and State Governments across the nation for transporting thousands of frontline healthcare workers and volunteers. These free rides were a part of the larger global commitment made by Uber to donate 10 million free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need.