Vodafone India has launched an innovative new service called the ‘Vodafone Sakhi Pack’. The Vodafone Sakhi Pack is basically a free of cost service, which enables users to conveniently recharge their mobile phones, without sharing their mobile numbers with retailers. India’s leading telecom operator, Vodafone had earlier rolled out this service in a test phase and received phenomenal response across the region. With this service, Vodafone claims to empower more women to use mobile phones for basic communication needs. Vodafone said that in 2014, an estimated 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone than men. This gender gap, according to the company, is the largest in the emerging economies and prevents many women benefiting from mobile services. Additionally, there are 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, and to bring them into the forefront of the Digital revolution, Vodafone India introduced ‘Vodafone Sakhi’. This unique feature is available to women in rural areas of UP (West) and Uttarakhand. Vodafone said that women consist of half the total population in UP and Uttarakhand but less than 20 percent of them have a mobile number in their name. Vodafone has taken this initiative that will ensure safety security to encourage more women to use a mobile phone for basic communication needs.
How to avail Vodafone Sakhi pack: To avail the Vodafone Private Recharge option, a subscriber needs to send a toll-free SMS – ‘Private’ – to 12604 which allows subscribers to make a Private Recharge through an OTP code, without sharing mobile number. This OTP can also be used for all recharges done over a 24 hour period. The emergency calling feature enables connectivity with 10 minutes of calling even with zero balance in their phone. Additionally, there is a bonus feature is where the users will get ‘Health Tips’ for free in the first 90 days. The subscribers will receive a call from the IVR in their local dialect, explaining product features and customer support details.
Dilip Kumar Ganta, Business Head of Vodafone in UP (West) and Uttarakhand, said, “As a part of our constant endeavour to work towards the customer needs, we believe safety and privacy are very important. With the world going digital and smart phones becoming the primary data storage device, security of personal information has become a key concern for people. ‘Vodafone Sakhi’ will help bridge the telecom needs of women in rural areas and addresses their barriers to access mobile services at will.”
Meanwhile, the price of the offer starts from Rs 52. Commenting on the Vodafone Sakhi Initiative, Rekha Arya, Minister of Women’s Welfare and Child Development said, “We are very optimistic about the step Vodafone has taken for women security. We will provide the required support to make this initiative a success.”