India has been grappling with the second wave of COVID for over a month now. Hospitals are overwhelmed by the pressure caused by a surge in COVID cases. Businesses which were showing signs of recovery have suffered a setback due to the second wave.
Despite the gloom, corporates are participating in collective efforts to help curb the deaths. Most corporates have paused their marketing and promotional activities and are focusing on the ground reality to understand what the country needs and how best they can help in the relief measures. Here is how corporates are coming forward to help in COVID relief efforts.
Runwal Foundation, the charitable arm of Runwal group, has launched Runwal Stays, an initiative that offers rent-free fully furnished accommodation for all frontline workers. Runwal Foundation will provide free stay at Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Jogeshwari for medical staff.
“As the nation comes together to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, we are here to offer our support. We want our frontline heroes to focus on what matters without having to worry about meeting basic needs. By providing a safe and comfortable space for them to go home to, we hope that we can play a small part in thanking them for all that they do for us,” Subodh Runwal, the trustee of Runwal Foundation says.
Mr Runwal also agreed to provide free stay for nurses at Goregaon through Runwal Foundation.
Last week, Runwal Foundation, through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative had supplied two weeks of essential supplies to 9,000 families with urgent requirements with help from Kalbadevi LT Marg Police Station in Mumbai.
Public sector enterprise Neyveli Lignite Corp (NLC) is seting up oxygen plants in Tamil Nadu and in other states where it is in operation. The company is to set up nine oxygen plants across the country. The company has announced that it is in the process of setting up two oxygen plants at Tuticorin and Neyveli within a month.
The company will install two plants at the cost of Rs25 lakh and Rs30 lakh at the NLCIL hospitals. The company will also install three plants at a cost of Rs65 lakh to Rs70 lakh in three government general hospitals to be identified by the Tamil Nadu state government. The plants will be funded through the company's CSR. NLCIL is also in the process of purchasing 500 oxygen concentrators of 10 litres per minute capacity.
Global life sciences company Bayer has announced an extension of its COVID-19 relief measures to local communities, healthcare workers, businesses, and employees. As COVID-19 cases surge in India, Bayer is re-purposing its existing 200 NM3, hr nitrogen plant at its manufacturing facility at Vapi. This will help provide a permanent source of oxygen supply to a local hospitals.
Additionally, Bayer will also provide oxygen concentrators to primary health centres (PHCs) to serve communities across rural India. In collaboration with the Maharashtra government, NASSCOM and WNS Global Services, Bayer is supporting 30 ICU beds in one of the district hospitals through telemedicine solutions.
Honda India Foundation, the CSR arm of Honda group companies in India, are providing additional support and relief measures with an aim to contribute towards the government’s ongoing efforts against COVID-19. The Foundation is closely working with state governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat and has earmarked Rs65 million towards these relief measures in this phase.
As part of this aid, Honda Foundation will be setting up temporary COVID care isolation centres and oxygen production plants. A 100-bed facility is being created at Honda’s warehouse facility in Manesar in Haryana and another 50 to 100 bed facility at the government girl school in Tapukara, Rajasthan. These temporary COVID-19 care centres are expected to commence operation from next week. Similar isolation centres are being explored in other locations.
The Foundation is also working with state governments to set up oxygen production plants in the districts of Kolar (Karnataka), Gautam Budh Nagar (Uttar Pradesh), Alwar (Rajasthan) and Manesar (Haryana).
Singaporean banking and financial services conglomerate DBS Bank has joined hands with the Indian and Singapore governments and partnered with leading NGOs to support the augmentation of healthcare facilities, including government hospitals and COVID centres across major cities.
The overall contribution by DBS Bank across all the CSR initiatives will be more than Rs10 crore. The relief efforts will support organisations working to alleviate the pressure faced by healthcare facilities by facilitating the supply of critical resources such as medical equipment, oxygen supplies, vaccinations and ICU beds, essential for managing the current wave of the pandemic.
DBS Bank, with the support of the Singapore High Commission in India and High Commission of India based in Singapore, is importing three cryogenic oxygen tanks, approximately 20,000 litres capacity each, to support the ongoing relief efforts. The tanks will be donated via the Singapore Red Cross to India and deployed for use through the ministry of health, thereby complementing the ongoing efforts to provide necessary oxygen supplies to healthcare centres across the nation.
Additionally, DBS is also partnering with Doctors For You and United Way Mumbai to support the overall effort to combat the current spike in the pandemic. The partnership with Doctors For You will support the set-up of a 300-bed oxygen equipped facility in Mumbai, along with the installation of mini oxygen plants, procurement of oxygen concentrators, and provision of medical personnel.
The partnership with United Way Mumbai will facilitate ICU unit beds and equipment, oxygen concentrator devices and other medical supplies to enhance existing capacity at public healthcare facilities in Mumbai and Pune.
The Petronet LNG Ltd, a public sector undertaking under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, will install three PSA-based oxygen generation plants at three hospitals of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) as part of the corporate social responsibility initiative. As many as 25 beds with oxygen concentrators has been opened to the public at the Balak Ram hospital.
L&T has procured and supplied 24 ventilators to immediately alleviate the shortage of medical equipment in south Gujarat. In the backdrop of the increased numbers of positive cases requiring ventilator support, L&T provided high-end ventilators to SMIMER, Civil and other dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in south Gujarat. L&T also distributed masks to various panchayats. Last week, L&T also announced that it will soon start delivering 22 oxygen generators to various hospitals in India, where the scarcity is most acute.
Meanwhile, Paytm has announced that it is offering its payment gateway services at 0% transaction fees to all registered NGOs across the country, to help them secure maximum resources for swift, seamless, and smooth COVID relief work.
This service would be applicable on donations of up to Rs10 lakh. This move will help NGOs save lakhs of rupees in transaction fees, which they would be able to use for providing more aid and relief to those affected by the pandemic.
To help NGOs immediately start accepting all forms of digital payments, the company is offering instant account activation and same-day settlement facility along with zero charges on setup and maintenance.
HCL is extending support for COVID-19 care facilities in NCR to bolster the state’s efforts to manage the large number of infections. The support includes assistance in the form of more than 500 hospital beds at various facilities such as the Commonwealth Games Village (CWG), Holy Family Hospital, Sama Hospital and Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi; and Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida Authority.
At CWG, HCL has also supported the import and installation of an oxygen plant for the facility which can provide continuous oxygen supply directly to the beds.
Media and entertainment company Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE), along with actor Salman Khan’s production house Salman Khan Films (SKF), has pledged to use the revenues generated from their upcoming Eid release Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai to provide support towards COVID relief work across the nation. This would include donation of essential medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and ventilators.
Extending his support to the cause, K Madhavan, president, The Walt Disney Company India and Star India, through a tweet, said, "We stand in solidarity with all of India in our fight against COVID-19. The Walt Disney Company and Star India are humbly contributing INR 50 crore to aid relief efforts. The need of the hour is to provide critical healthcare supplies and equipment to save lives. This is our common fight and our contribution reaffirms our steadfast commitment to India, and builds upon the INR 28 crores that our company contributed towards COVID-19 relief in 2020."
Mankind Pharma has announced it will donate Rs100 crore to support the families of frontline workers who have lost their lives fighting the battle.
With a peak in daily cases across the country, COVID-19 has led to a shortage of safe spaces for the underprivileged during their recovery from COVID-19. GiveIndia and OYO Care have launched a fundraising campaign #ShelterForAll with an aim to raise Rs10 crore to offer rooms as isolation and quarantine shelters for COVID-19 positive patients in need in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, Delhi for symptomatic as well as asymptomatic COVID-19 patients during their recovery.
Atul Satija, CEO of GiveIndia commented, “During such distressing times, this is a unique and meaningful campaign with the support of OYO Care for the neglected segments of our society. While patients who need critical care are running out of beds and oxygen, those who are positive and mildly symptomatic are also in grave need for spaces to recover. We hope this campaign will raise awareness of underprivileged COVID-19 patients, their basic right to shelter for isolation and a chance to recover.”
ITC Ltd too came out with a citizen welfare initiative to help in the treatment of COVID positive patients and administering vaccines. It has helped in the setting up of a 200-bed medical facility in Kolkata by Medica Superspeciality Hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 positive patients and for administering vaccines.
But, they will still continue to be the darlings of the other duo, Modi-Shah.