The Karnataka government has tied up with international cab aggregator Uber to launch ‘Airavatha Scheme’ to create self-employment opportunities and boost livelihood options for rural and semi-urban youth. The scheme will target young men and women of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities and will provide them with training, mentoring, financial assistance and industry partnerships. The government will spend Rs 225 crore for the purpose.
The Social Welfare Ministry said the department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uber, under which, the government will provide a financial grant of Rs 5 lakh each to 500 identified beneficiaries from the SC/ST community. Uber will assist the Karnataka government in identifying eligible candidates from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubbali cities of the state, especially in semi-urban areas, and encourage them to take advantage of this scheme.
Uber will also train beneficiaries, encourage them to register as Driver Partners on the taxi-hailing app, and thereby, provide access to entrepreneurial opportunities and viable earnings. Beneficiaries will also be provided with the necessary assistance to avail any additional loans from financial institutions.
Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge said, “We, in the government of Karnataka, are committed to people-oriented development. We are committed to providing the SC/ST community with the necessary resources to chart their success stories. With Uber, we will ensure to enhance the economic opportunities and income levels in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This will, we hope, improve the standard of living of these families and the communities themselves, and people lead better lives. We will take every effort to realise the potential and ambitions of our young people, and ensure that Karnataka is truly a state of growth.”
Pradeep Parameswaran, president, Uber India and South Asia, said, “Uber is committed to partnering with the Government of Karnataka and equipping all sections of society with the resources to chart their entrepreneurial journey on the app. With this initiative, the Government of Karnataka has once again demonstrated its intent to partner for progress and incentivise skills building and entrepreneurship”