Celebrating Compassion

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The sting of pending gloom that the pandemic has had on India and the world seems to have eased considerably, but the number of affected people in India has risen by leaps and bounds. The country has in many ways start to ease restrictions to help get the economy going. Yet, we still have millions badly affected by the onslaught of the virus. We take a look at a few organisations giving hope to those still needing as much help in these testing times. 

The Hans Foundation

The Hans Foundation, a public charitable trust that provides funding support to Not-for-Profit organisations in India. Established in 2009, one of India’s largest social investors has actively supported more than 400 NGO’s in 26 states and union territories in the past ten years benefiting more than 10 million poor in the country, changing the investment game in rural India.

In the determination to join the fight against COVID-19, The Hans Foundation has contributed INR 4 Crore to the PM-CARES Fund for helping those across India. The Foundation has also supported the Govt. of Uttarakhand in providing necessary support in the form of ration kits, medical support and PPE kits worth INR One Crore and 51 lakh. In collaboration with Americares, ventilators have been provided in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala worth $2,50,000 (Approx 1.90 Cr) for emergency response for COVID-19 patients. Several initiatives like these are being carried out by THF through their partners working in interior locations and support worth more than 16.5 crores has been extended so far. Close to three lakh families have benefitted presently with the distribution of ration kits, sanitation kits, medical supplies, etc. in 17 States across the country and the support is being extended to other states as well.

THF along with its partners – the Government of Uttarakhand, VARDAN, American India Foundation, GRAVIS, Masoom Charitable Trust, Aasraa Trust, BAIF Development Research Foundation, Goonj, Akshaya Patra Foundation and many other partners are conducting relief support drives for those affected and also helping the hospitals and the front line workers. The Foundation with its partners is providing nutritional kits/ration kits to the families of migrants, daily wage earners, informal sector workers and healthcare kits to the frontline health workers, partial salary and mediclaim, ventilators and even helping in setting up isolation centres.

Case Study – 1

Dhiraj Mushahar, a 68-year-old resident of Koran Sarai, Bihar. His prolonged illness had barred him from working leaving the burden of income generation on his three daughters. Jyoti (27), Saraswati (25) and Chotti (19) are the bread-earners of the family, working as day labourers. Their mother died five years back due to cancer. The lockdown has been harsh on the family, with none of the girls having any income support, leaving them in desperate need for food. They had received around 2 kgs. of rice from the Panchayat which got over in a matter of two days. The Hans Foundation along with Caritas India provided the family with a two-square meal for the next 15 days.

Case Study – 2

Ujaram Mushahar, a 52-year-old resident of Koran Sarai, Bihar, was provided with a ration kit at Koran Sarai High School. Affected by polio on his left leg, Ujaram had to resort to begging to make ends meet for himself and his family. It was difficult for him to look after a family of 10 especially in the present scenario, where lockdown has restricted the movement of people on road, taking a beat on his only means of survival. He expressed his gratitude to the field team along with The Hans Foundation and Caritas India. “There are days when I can’t manage even Rs 10,” says Ujaram, expressing the looming uncertainty over the next meal. The prevailing conditions have forced his family to take only a square meal per day. 

Case Study – 3

Poonam Kondar, a 29-year-old resident of village Bhasuda, Ajaigarh Block and Panna District, MP, lives with her husband – Ganesh Kondar, 31 and two daughters – Kamla Kondar, 2.5 years and Akhilesh Kondar, who is six months old. Being daily labourers, the couple has been unable to feed nutritious food to their children as their earning is insufficient. Kamla Kondar was a confirmed case of severe acute malnourishment. The Hans Foundation along with EFICOR project staff met the family during home visit counselling with AWW and ASHA in her village and counselled her parents about NRC facilities, SAM children care and treatment. But the family was not willing to take her to NRC Ajaigarh. Hence, the community mobiliser counselled the families about a healthy balanced diet and taught them to prepare homemade health mix powder. Since the families are facing challenges for daily earning, the project informed and motivated Poonam Kondar to get take-home ration from AWC. The project staff regularly followed up through visits and encouraged them to have a balanced diet as per their economic condition and keep a record of Kamala weight on a weekly basis. Poonam and her husband understood all the health messages shared to them by the project staff and have practised and started serving timely food to Kamla and started taking the take-home ration from the Anganwadi centre, prepared homemade nutritious powder for Kamal. Poonam and her husband are very glad to see this change in their baby. 

IIM Kozhikode Alumni Network

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. From Lockdown 1.0 to Unlock 1.0, India has heard numerous heartwarming stories of ordinary citizens rallying to the aid of the gravely impacted, attending to the nation’s critical needs and aiding the government machinery of settling down with the COVID challenges.

The 9,000 strong alumni network of IIM Kozhikode has also contributed to the COVID-19 relief efforts. The efforts began earlier in May with the setting up of an alumni relief fund, through an IIMK alumnus-owned portal dreamwallets.com. The community raised around Rs 28 lakh through this 30-day fund’s crowd-sourcing drive. It then prioritised food, PPE, and transportation support in collaboration with IIM Women Social Action Group and well-known actor Sonu Sood. Notably, the community provided for travel support for the migrant labourers to go back to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and other States.

Meanwhile, the collected funds supported the meals for daily workers. The alumni association also distributed relief kits to families and hygiene kits to policemen. It supported shelters for children and artisans to survive the tough financial situation. It also contributed to the construction and management of an operation theatre and labour room for COVID-19 patients and provided medical care for bedridden and homecare for tribal cancer patients. Finally, the community also provided for daily fodder and medical expenses for animal shelters.

Through its journey, IIM Kozhikode Alumni Association (IIMKAA) has collaborated with Petoo.in, Govt Medical College Kozhikode, Shishumandir School, Abhudaya foundation, Make a difference foundation, contributed to food relief for the laborer in Mizoram, Kozhikode Police, Akshaypatra, Miharu, Sevanagar, Daya pain relief clinic, Educate Girls, Anjuman-I-Islam’s Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, People tree foundation, Goonj foundation, Miles 2Smile IQRAA hospital and others.

“It was remarkable to see that all the causes were backed by IIMK Alumni, faculty and students. The current students of IIMK contributed by raising funds through various innovative initiatives like online art action by Myartgarage.com, digital posters by Misfit Monk and other online sporting events by the current sports and student communities,” said Deepika Raikwar, President, IIM Kozhikode Alumni Association (IIMKAA).

Alongside relief and aid work, the Alumni Association also spearheaded a gamut of online programs for this fundraiser and to help the alumni interact remotely during the last few months. The programmes included weekly interactions with professors, panel discussions on career paths led by illustrious alumni, online quizzes and a five-hour-long virtual talent showcase marathon broadcast on IIMK’s YouTube channel. The Alumni network has, through a weekly series, titled ’Roll Call’, offered its community an opportunity to learn and develop management skills through talks and connects with the professors of IIMK, on its skill development platform (IIMKAN).

The relief efforts were closed by a launch of a dazzling IIMK Anthem #Badloinmainclass on IIMK’s YouTube channel. The song has been written, composed, and sung by IIMK Alumni and has been shot on the beautiful IIM campus. 

3M

CoVID-19 and the ongoing lockdown has created unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis bringing a sharp focus on the plight of migrant workers across the country. As the pandemic evolves, 3M India has extended its efforts to help the vulnerable communities build resilience to brave its impact on their lives. In this direction, the US-based parent company has announced that they will provide USD 300,000 contribution from 3Mgives. 3Mgives’ mission is to improve every life through innovative giving in education, community and the environment. 3Mgives has made a donation of USD 5 million to United Way Worldwide’s  COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support vulnerable populations. Out of the total contribution, USD 300,000 has been allocated to India. Leveraging its partnership with United Way India, 3M will use these funds to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in government hospitals in hotspot areas, covering critical medical equipment and general hospital upgradation.

3M’s employees in India were keen to support the nation’s fight against the pandemic, which saw them voluntarily contributing towards relief funds for Karnataka and Maharashtra. To enhance this gesture, the company matched employees’ contributions, which was donated to the PM-CARES Fund.

In other COVID response activities, 3M India’s activities are being guided under three considerations-

  1. most affected geographies – dividing support to vulnerable communities across the top five affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi NCR
  2. vulnerability of communities – allocation towards the migrant workers, hospitals and non-healthcare frontline workers such as police and sanitation workers and
  3. critical needs of communities – to focus on hunger and food security, healthcare infrastructure and safety of frontline workers.

Elaborating on the initiatives, Ramesh Ramadurai, MD, 3M India said, “Since the outbreak, we have been closely working with various government agencies and hospitals to ensure our personal safety products are available for medical, healthcare and other frontline workers. The USD 300,000 fund allocation is another testament of 3M’s global commitment to supporting our communities and improving lives. Through United Way of Bengaluru, we have identified a need for hospital infrastructure critical for COVID-19 treatment in vulnerable areas of several cities. We have decided to allocate 100% of the grant towards strengthening this.”

Even within the areas immediately surrounding 3M plants, the company is working with local authorities to address the needs in the community. During the lockdown, the company served close to 3500 migrant workers and their families with cooked meals (lunch and dinner) near the Ranjangaon plant in Pune. The Company distributed close to 50,000 meals till date from 3M approved canteen kitchens, taking care to observe social distancing norms. It has also distributed dry rations of sugar and edible oil to the local community kitchens feeding over 90,000 people.

West Bengal was struck with COVID first, followed by Cyclone Amphan. Leveraging its ‘adopt an Anganwadi’ initiative in partnership with United Way, Kolkata, 3M has set up disaster response towards relief and rehabilitation work, to support the Amphan cyclone-affected regions in the slums of Shalimar, Howrah, Khidderpore, Chetla and Tollygunge. About 3700+ families are expected to be benefited by the intervention through the creation of shelters and distribution of dry ration and hygiene kits.

“Once the pandemic is controlled, it will be important to build resilience amongst the worst affected communities. We intend to strategically plan projects in these communities broadly focussing on education, community issues and the long-term impact such as strengthening our healthcare systems to meet future pandemic outbreaks,” added Ramadurai.

Manish Michael, Chief Executive Officer, United Way India, adds: “3M is a Global Corporate Leader of United Way Worldwide’s programmes, working with our network across the globe to address the most pressing human needs. In India as well, 3M always stood to support communities’ immediate need as well as initiatives with long term sustainable impact. COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed unprecedented issues amongst vulnerable communities, and we are grateful for 3M’s support to hospitals in several Indian cities that are serving COVID 19 patients.” 

Globally, 3M gives has increased humanitarian aid commitment to fight COVID-19, providing $20 million for community partners that are working on COVID-19 support around the world. 

Your-Space

India’s premier student housing brand, your-space has unveiled their maiden CSR initiative – ‘Giving Back’. The initiative has been launched with an aim to help the underprivileged section of the society.

Your-space recently partnered with the Robinhood Army to undertake a food donation drive. This activity was done with the aim of helping the indigent who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They distributed approximately 250 snack boxes in and around the Old Delhi area.

Karan Kaushish, Chief Marketing Officer, your-space said, “At Your-Space, we are constantly looking at opportunities to work together with our student residents and build a stronger and enhanced community. We are happy to launch our CSR initiative ‘Giving Back’, through this, we will be undertaking activities which will help uplift the needy sections of the society, in the cities we are present in.”

Under Giving Back, your-space has already undertaken activities by joining hands with underprivileged students to launch the ‘Vaayu’ initiate, the Blind Relief Association – India and another leading non-profit organisation working towards providing education to all.

RB India

In a bid to address the urgent collective fight against the spread of COVID-19, RB India has extended support to Haryana CSR Advisory Board, Government of Haryana. 15,000 litres of Lizol and Harpic is being donated to the State Government which will help break the chain of this deadly infection.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Haryana has been putting in best efforts to safeguard the citizens as well as the frontline workers in the state. They have been ensuring that proper medical infrastructure is made available to the frontline workers and proper hygiene is maintained at public facilities. Through this alliance, RB is assisting the State Government in their efforts to contain the spread of infection by disinfecting public utilities including hospitals, across the State.

Commenting on the initiative, Tushara Shankar, Head- CSR and External Relations, RB Hygiene, India said, “It is critical for us to step up and reach out to governments during these times. At RB, we salute the work of our frontline workers who are doing everything they can to protect us and keep us safe. This collaboration with the Haryana Government is our small way of appreciating the effort of all these workers and providing them with disinfectant products like Lizol and Harpic for public use that will help break the chain of this deadly infection.”

Gaurav Singh, Regional Head and Additional Chief Executive Officer – PMU, Haryana CSR Advisory Board, said, “We would like to thank RB for this generous donation and for stepping up during these trying times. Disinfectant products like Harpic and Lizol will help us disinfect public utilities and facilities in the state thereby helping frontline workers who are going the extra mile to keep people safe.”

RB India recently announced a donation of one million litres of Lizol and Harpic to aid Indian states in fighting this crisis especially in public health institutions and at the frontline with health and sanitation workers.

Students from Mumbai Crowdfund to Support Akshaya Patra’s COVID-19 Food Relief

Around 80 students of various schools and colleges in Mumbai, Maharashtra, have raised Rs 51 Lakh through a crowdfunding campaign on the platform FuelAdream.com. This was done under the banner of the “Alpha Urbane Project” to support The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s COVID-19 food relief efforts in the State. These funds will enable the Foundation to feed more than 2.5 lakh meals to daily-wage earners, migrant labourers and rough sleepers in various locations across Maharashtra. The students were from different schools across Mumbai including the Jamnabai Narsee International School, Bombay International School, Bombay Scottish School, Hill Spring International School, Podar International School, DSB, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, J B Petit, etc. They raised this amount over 21 days on FuelAdream.com, an online crowdfunding website. They had an individual goal of approximately Rs 56,000, that would fund 2800 meals, and a collective goal of Rs 45.5 lakhs, which they surpassed.

With the nation under a complete lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Akshaya Patra is aiding the Government’s relief efforts by providing food to vulnerable communities across the country. Akshaya Patra and associate foundations have served about 72 million meals to underprivileged sections of the society over the last four months.  Over 1 million of these cooked meals were funded through initiatives on FuelAdream.com.

Sundeep Talwar, CMO, Akshaya Patra, said, “We are grateful to the students for their support to our COVID-19 relief feeding efforts in Maharashtra through their crowdfunding campaign. They have done a remarkable job in raising funds for our endeavour and at the same time, helped spread the word. By coming forward to help those in need during these difficult times, these youngsters give us the hope and assurance that our future as a nation is in safe hands.” 

Ranganath Thota, Founder, FuelaDream.com said, “Students learn and grasp the concept of crowdfunding very quickly when taught. They are then able to unleash its power to make a dramatic impact. It’s wonderful to see students make such a big impact during COVID-19.”

Maya Sadarangi, a student at the Bombay International School said, “COVID-19 created a tumult that swept the entire country in a heartbeat. Livelihoods were compromised and normality was put on hold, which caused great suffering. Being in a secure environment provided by my parents, I felt a desire to help those that did not avail of the same comfort. The motive to provide during these unforeseen circumstances drove me to alleviate this discomfort for as many people as I could. Knowing that I could do my bit to help somebody else in need through this crowdfunding campaign made me feel like I could truly make a difference.”

Eaton

Following its commitment to making communities stronger, Eaton, a global power management company, has been supporting COVID-19 relief operations in various parts of the country. Through an internal donation program, Eaton India Foundation has matched employees’ contributions and doubled the same with its own funds, donating the entire amount as a relief to frontline workers and daily wage earners in these unprecedented times.

Eaton India Foundation is a public charitable trust established to streamline and broaden Eaton’s community efforts in India. It has been contributing to the nation’s fight against this rapidly spreading pandemic by supporting the most vulnerable. Eaton India Foundation is assisting various COVID-19 related relief measures which include providing frontline workers with healthcare and safety equipment, migrants and daily wagers with essentials like meals and ration kits amongst other causes. The foundation is also working closely with the local police in several cities and taking care of their safety and hygiene kits.

Eaton employees have actively supported the relief work in their personal capacity. Many came forward to support Eaton India Foundation’s COVID relief programme, by identifying and reaching out to the most vulnerable. Employees have also been working with the foundation’s existing education projects to take the content online, minimizing disruption in school education for the disadvantaged.

Ashish Kapoor, HR Director, Eaton India said, “Amidst the uncertainty, Eaton has taken adequate precautions to ensure our employees’ safety and well-being both on location and in remote work environments. However, we are well aware of the Covid19 Warriors amongst us who face high risks daily to keep us healthy and our cities safe and clean. We have also witnessed the plight of the vulnerable communities who have been impacted the most in this challenging phase. It is a time when we all need to stand and support a section of the society which needs our assistance. Through our little contribution, we hope to have brought respite to some.”

He added, “At Eaton, we are committed to our community and take it as our responsibility to come forward and support the people who put their lives at stake to serve the society. This was ably demonstrated when our Eaton team members across levels contributed funds to aid the humanitarian response to this crisis. Eaton has been and will continue to stand true to its commitment towards giving back to society.”

Eaton India Foundation continues to organize and support relief operations in Pune, Puducherry, Coimbatore, Ranjangaon, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai with plans to reach out to more areas soon.

Kamdhenu Group

Kamdhenu Group, a well-diversified player in the steel and paints industry, has donated Rs 71 lakhs to the PM-CARES Fund to support the ongoing relief efforts being undertaken in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. The company, Kamdhenu Limited, undertook this initiative under its CSR wing, Kamdhenu Jeevandhara Foundation.

The Company had appealed to its employees, dealers and distributors to donate into the PM-CARES Fund to support the current social cause and it not only collected funds from them but also itself contributed towards the same.

Kamdhenu Group undertook various initiatives during the current COVID-19 pandemic situation such as financial aid & free ration distribution to the masons/painters. In addition, it donated sanitizing tunnels to the government authorities and also distributed free masks and sanitizers among the needy public at large through the dealers & distributors to tackle the Covid-19 spread.

Satish Kumar Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of the Kamdhenu Group, said, “Kamdhenu Group is always committed to stand with our workers, associates and people, especially during this tough time of a Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. In the current crisis, we at Kamdhenu, are continuously making our best efforts to give full support to the public at large.”

Kamdhenu Jeevandhara Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the society through its social welfare initiatives on a regular basis. It has organized various blood donation camps across the country and has also educated people on the benefits of donating blood regularly. It also organizes various welfare camps for handicaps wherein, they are provided with free artificial limbs, wheelchairs, walkers, polio callipers and other body-aid instruments. Even medicines and counselling to the patients and their families are delivered absolutely free of charge. Kamdhenu Jeevandhara Foundation has associated itself with NGOs and autonomous bodies to help the differently-abled through different means of relief. The Company donated various medical equipment for testing in laboratories to hospitals who are providing free healthcare services to the public. It recently donated an ambulance to Rotary Club Bhiwadi to help augment the healthcare services in the district.