Mumbai, June 29
Three rural—tech start-ups – Frontier Markets, HESA and 1Bridge – has formed a coalition to raise $8 million to support 1 million rural households across 6,000 villages in the country.
The Rural Access Coalition for Covid-19 Resilience is formed by rural supply chain companies, grassroots organisations and ecosystem enablers. It is a joint effort to uplift the depreciating lifestyle and infrastructure in rural India.
This is to provide relief to Tier-II and III cities across four states – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Rajasthan – in the wake of the pandemic. The coalition will ensure employment, awareness and accessibility, the starts-ups said in a statement.
Ajaita Shah Founder and CEO Frontier Markets said: “The Rural Access Coalition is the first of its kind and will help overcome grass-root level challenges in rural India directly and quickly. Rural customers and families suffer the most as they are deprived of resources despite big companies coming forward”.
“Our contribution will be a massive needed gender lens – as Frontier Markets’ 10,000 Saheli network will connect deeply to amplify the gender-based health needs of the community alongside accessibility, economic development and opportunities,” Shah added.
The coalition has partnered with Armman and Noora Health for Covid-19 and maternal-related information, training and services, which will be accompanied with Raksha Kits (PPE kits and supplies) by 1MG to provide access to equipment to every rural household.
The participation also includes ecosystem enablers Sattva Consulting and United Way Delhi alongside Head Held High Foundation and BASIX-BABLE for capacity building.
Launching the coalition, Madan Padaki, Founder & CEO, 1Bridge said: “Access, choice and convenience has always been a challenge for rural consumers across products and services and 1Bridge has been systematically addressing these challenges through its village commerce network of entrepreneurs”.
“With the onslaught of the pandemic, it is now critical to solve these from a healthcare perspective, where we can deliver care and supplies right at the doorsteps of rural consumers while generating new models of economic opportunities for entrepreneurs,” Padaki added.