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'Red Rickshaw Revolution' ends in Mumbai

Posted on Mar 20, 10:30AM | IBNS

Mumbai, Mar 19 : The 'Red Rickshaw Revolution', an initiative by the Vodafone Foundation that was flagged off from New Delhi on March 9, a day after the world celebrated International Women's Day, successfully ended in Mumbai on Monday.

The Red Rickshaw arrived at Vodafone India's corporate office to a rousing welcome from Cherie Blair, an ardent supporter of the Vodafone Foundation, senior executives and staff of telecom giant Vodafone, representatives from several NGOs and the public.

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 three renowned NGOs- Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC), Breakthrough and Corp - and has generated over Rs. 30 lakh till date.

The Vodafone Foundation is matching the amount of Rs 30 lakh as well as 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.

The '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, "We strongly believe that empowerment of women is vital for socio economic development and the funds raised from this initiative will benefit several more."

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 .1.6 crore will go a long way in ensuring that the cause of women's empowerment is well served," said Kapoor.

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.