With an aim to empower women in the rural areas, a number two telecom player Vodafone has introduced a new voucher 'Vodafone Sakhi' in which women can make private recharge through an OTP code without mobile number sharing.
Vodafone Sakhi is currently available in select areas of Dehradun, Saharanpur & Firozabad in UP West and Uttarakhand starting at Rs. 52 only.
This OTP can also be used for all recharges done over a 24 hour period. An emergency calling feature enables seamless connectivity with 10 minutes of calling even with zero balance in their phone. A bonus feature is free health and beauty tips pack for the first 90 days.
The 30 days packs are available at Rs. 52, Rs. 78 and Rs. 99 which will offering 50 MB of 2G/3G data.
The Vodafone Connected Women Report 2014 states that around the world, an estimated 300 million fewer women than men own a mobile phone. This gender gap is the largest in the emerging economies and prevents many women benefiting from mobile services. Added to this are the privacy issues for rural women and hesitancy to share mobile numbers at recharge outlets.
"With a view to address these concerns of women from rural India, to bring them into the forefront of the Digital revolution and empower them to stay connected with their near and dear ones, Vodafone India has introduced Vodafone Sakhi, a unique proposition empowering women in the rural areas of UP-West and Uttarakhand," Vodafone said.
While announcing this initiative, Dilip Kumar Ganta, Business Head UP-West and Uttarakhand, Vodafone India said, "Our studies show that women in rural areas face socio-economic challenges in accessing mobile services. They tend to follow a shared phone concept, as they are hesitant to share mobile number due to security concerns. They rely almost entirely on incoming calls and depend on their families for recharges."
"Vodafone Sakhi have been designed especially to bridge the telecom needs of women in rural areas and address their barriers to access mobile services at will. We are very proud to introduce Vodafone Sakhi, a unique product aimed at empowering women across UP-West. We want the women to use mobile as tool to empower themselves and optimize their efficacy," he added.