On 6th April 2018, our team comprising of Mr Vikram Sheoran, Ms Pratishtha Arora and Ms Suhasini Mukherjee, visited the Ola Office in Gurugram for a gender sensitization training with Ola Drivers. These drivers were selected by Ola for the training, and were 20 participants with a 2 star rating. For the purpose of the training, we referred to the Ola drivers, as Ola partners.
The aim of this training was to to improve behaviour of Ola partners towards riders, particularly women riders, pregnant women and senior citizens. The idea behind the interactive workshop was to provide Ola partners an opportunity to share their experiences, grievances as well as a space where they could be heard.
The workshop began with distribution of pre-assessment forms by the trainers, which were completed by the Ola partners. This was followed by some interactive and engaging activities beginning with the Ball Game (a ball was thrown to a participant, who was given a word and then was asked to share an associative word. For example, lady driver, challan, traffic).
They were shown clips from movies Taxi 9211 and Hungama, to contextualize the problems they often face. This was followed by the game Track Your Car, where the group was divided into two teams- drivers and riders. The riders’ team was giving instructions to the drivers’ team, using a set map provided to them. The drivers were to follow these instructions, without knowing the destination to be reached. Due to miscommunication, and lack of full information, the drivers were not able to reach the correct destination.
The final activity were two role plays, where in one situation it was the driver’s fault, and in second situation the rider was shown to be at fault.
The session ended with the filling of the post assessment forms. The drivers gave their feedback regarding the training, and shared their responsibilities as a drivers, along with setting of expectations from riders.
As per our trainers, the workshop was a great success, and this will be repeated across the country with various Ola partners.
Ms Pratishtha Arora, had this to say “Training with Ola partners was first of its kind as we engaged with the drivers for the very first time. And I feel it is very essential to listen to the other side of the story as well”. Ms Suhasini Mukherjee went on to say “The level of interaction by the Ola partners at our pilot training was most heartening. Along with addressing their own gendered biases, it also became a space for them to share their concerns about riders’ attitudes towards them. Here’s to more such open discussions in this journey towards change.”