Pune: A city-based concessional air ticket booking platform, meant exclusively for Armed Forces personnel and their dependants, udChalo, has come up with initiatives for re-employment opportunities for ex-servicemen, martyrs’ widows.
The udChalo has started booking counters at nine places, including in Jammu & Kashmir and North East states. All these counters are operated by ex-servicemen, including one veer nari (war widow).
Parjeet Kaur (28), a veer nari, who operates a counter in Bathinda, Punjab, said, “I have joined a few days ago. My work here is to book tickets online and to tell others about my company.
“During my working hours, I meet a number of people. I am enjoying working here a lot. It has also given me a source of livelihood.”
“There are many more counters coming up in army cantonments across India with an estimate of 50 counters by the end of this year. Many of these counters will be located at remote places for the benefit of
This only means more employment opportunities for our ex-servicemen and their families,” said Ravi Kumar (31), udChalo co-founder.
After retirement, re-employment is an area of concern for other ranks since they retire by the age of 35 years.
“For the operation of our offline booking counters, we hire ex-servicemen or their dependants. Other roles, where we are working with ex-servicemen, are customer care and business
“We have currently nine ex-servicemen, seven dependants and a war widow working with us,” he said.
Started in 2012, udChalo works exclusively for the Indian Armed Forces and their dependants.
It is the brainchild of graduates of the Army Institute of Technology (AIT), Pune, Varun Jain and Ravi Kumar. The other team members in udChalo also have an Armed Forces background.
Explaining their USP, Ravi said, “The udChalo works with selling last minute unsold inventory to armed forces personnel at concessional rates. By fetching seats, which could go vacant in a flight, airline gives seats at discount to our men in uniform. We have partnered with five major airlines. Jet Airways overwhelmingly supported this cause.”
For any booking service number is compulsory to make sure that genuine soldiers and their dependants are travelling.
Ravi said, “The udChalo’s success is important to make defence believe that they have the power and the unity to generate employment for themselves.”