Following on its April Fool video, Ola has announced a nationwide crowdfunding campaign to build toilets across the country. Launched under Ola’s ‘My ride, My Cause’ program, users will be able to contribute Re. 1 per ride from April 2 to October 2, 2019.
The company estimates that this initiative will impact over 20,000 people positively.
According to the company’s blog, Ola has partnered with Gramalaya, an approved key resource centre from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, which will use the proceeds in their ongoing efforts to build toilets for the underprivileged across India.
Thank you for laughing with us. While #OlaRestrooms are not here yet, we can do our bit to facilitate better sanitation for thousands. Starting 2nd April you can opt to donate ₹1/ride to https://t.co/WSZtcQyo34 & help them build toilets across India https://t.co/P8a2MHS9uy pic.twitter.com/ZmzteQK7ny
— Ola (@Olacabs) April 1, 2019
The announcement follows the launch of Ola’s April Fool’s video, “Ola Restrooms”, which aimed at building awareness around the need for accessible and hygienic lavatories in India.
However, the campaign had faced a backlash from netizens due to the main cause being a serious concern for the larger population in India. A large demographic in the country does not have access to clean and hygienic sanitation facilities and hence suffer from several diseases.
Raising people’s hopes and then passing it off as an April Fool prank becomes problematic according to critics.
Highlighting the need for more public toilets in the country, the digital campaign introduces ‘Ola Restrooms’, a new solution that seeks to address the dearth of facilities. Known for its unconventional campaigns, Ola used the occasion to draw attention to a social issue and turn it into a cause-based initiative.
Lack of adequate toilets that adhere to the scientific sanitary standards is detrimental to India’s mission to be free of Open Defecation by 2019.
Through this initiative, Ola aims to bridge the gap with the support of millions of users that take rides on the Ola platform every day.
Ola official remarked that the company has been committed to supporting causes that deeply impact cities and citizens. Access to toilets and sanitation can significantly improve hygiene and quality of life for people.
Through this campaign, the company aims to heighten awareness among educated audiences and enable them to contribute meaningfully. Gramalaya has been working in the field of sustainable sanitation infrastructure for the past 30 years in rural India.