Vodafone Foundation’s Red Rickshaw Revolution Ends It’s Journey in Mumbai

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Raises Rs. 1.3 crore for partner NGOs marking the successful completion of a 1500 km  journey over nine days, by three women from Delhi to Mumbai

Announces Rs. 1.6 crore additional support to further the extraordinary  achievements of 30 ordinary women met enroute

INDIACSR News Network

MUMBAI: The ‘Red Rickshaw Revolution’, an initiative by the Vodafone Foundation that was flagged off from New Delhi on March 9, 2013, a day after the world celebrated International Women’s Day, successfully ended in Mumbai today when the Red Rickshaw arrived at Vodafone India’s corporate office today, March 18th, to a rousing welcome from Ms. Cherie Blair, an ardent supporter of the Vodafone Foundation, Senior Executives and staff of Vodafone, representatives from several NGOs and the public.

Vodafone FoundationThe ‘Red Rickshaw Revolution’ had three committed women, Laura Turkington, Director of the Vodafone Foundation in India, Carina Deegan, who supports the Foundation’s activities and Sunita Chaudhary, the first female auto rickshaw driver in Delhi NCR, traverse the distance of over 1,500 km from New Delhi to Mumbai in a specially designed  red auto rickshaw, over 9 days, stopping at multiple locations along the way, to  engage and interact with inspirational women whose initiatives have positively impacted people’s lives and made a real difference within their communities.

Sharing insights on this unique initiative, Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO, Vodafone India said, “Vodafone India’s commitment towards society extends beyond products and services. Vodafone Foundation has been working in the area of women empowerment in India and the Red Rickshaw Revolution is a one-of-its-kind campaign to build support for this cause by taking it to a larger audience. We strongly believe that empowerment of women is vital for socio economic development and the funds raised from this initiative will benefit several more.”

The key objective of this initiative was to spread awareness, garner support and raise funds for NGOs working to empower several other such women. The ‘Red Rickshaw Revolution’ is raising funds for 3 renowned NGOs- Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC), Breakthrough and Corp and has generated over Rs. 30 lakh till date. The Vodafone Foundation is contributing an additional sum of over Rs. 1 crore.  All funds generated will be used by the three NGOs for educating the underprivileged, facilitating sustainable livelihoods, and providing safety for women.

The Vodafone Foundation announced a further support of over Rs. 1.6 crore to work with the 30 women led projects identified on the route from Delhi to Mumbai, furthering their work by bringing them and their community online and enabling digital literacy.

Mr Manu Kapoor, Director – External Affairs, Vodafone India, said, “The selfless dedication and commitment displayed by the entire team behind the Red Rickshaw project is to be lauded. This is the single largest social investment campaign till date by Vodafone Foundation in India and will be an inspiration for all employees at Vodafone, for whom a commitment to the society they live in is already deeply ingrained. The gesture of Vodafone Foundation to provide additional support of Rs .1.6crore will go a long way in ensuring that the cause of women’s empowerment is well served.”

Over the past fortnight, Vodafone has been actively reaching out to maximum people in the endeavour to generate support for the ‘Red Rickshaw Revolution’, a journey that covered 5 states and over 2,500 villages, capturing the work of more than 150 women on video.  48 inspirational women were featured, many through over 10,000 photographs taken during the journey. Almost 54,000 people have supported this revolution from all over the world by visiting the website since its launch resulting in 1,60,000 page views.

Fund raising will continue and Vodafone customers in India can donate by messaging DONATE to 58910.

Donations can also be made online at http://samhita.org/redrickshaw or donations can be made by cheque in favour of Nadathur Trust. International donations can be made online at http://www.justgiving.com/redrickshawrevolution. Additionally, the Vodafone Foundation has also instituted an ‘Angel Programme’ for corporates to participate in this campaign. Companies contributing INR 1 lakh or more to the ‘Red Rickshaw Revolution’ will be featured on the website.

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