Forging Ahead With Determination

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The entire world is affected by COVID-19. Government, non-profit groups, Corporate houses and institutions from different walks of life have joined hands to respond to this pandemic.  The battle against the pandemic is still raging. This is also the time where we should not become complacent, weary or give up. No stone should be left unturned to see the nation through this challenging time as the following organisations are reminding us.

D-Link
In this moment of grave national crisis, D-Link (India) Ltd. has committed Rs. 60 lakhs to the nation towards its fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

D-Link (India) Ltd. is supporting several initiatives that include a contribution of Rs 35 Lakhs towards the PM-CARES Fund, Rs. 20 Lakhs towards CM COVID Fund (Maharashtra), and Rs Five Lakhs towards the TATA Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

“We extend our profound solidarity to all the frontline forces who are leading the battle against COVID-19 with utmost sincerity and brilliance. A crisis like this requires businesses to come forward and join the battle in order to support the society at large. D-Link India along with its employees is committed to supporting the government in this time of national crisis. While we continue to take all preventive measures, we have also been working rigorously to ensure business continuity. Further, I am proud to share that along with D-Link, our employees have also voluntarily contributed one-day salary towards the PM-CARES Fund as a mark of support during this health emergency,” said Tushar Sighat, Managing Director & CEO, D-Link (India) Ltd.

FCA India
FCA India has pledged financial aid of nearly Rs Two Crore towards the supply of medical kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), dry food, hygiene essentials and hospitalisation for those most in need in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.

Specifically, FCA India Engineering has partnered with not-for-profit organisations, Sevalaya in Chennai, and United Way Mumbai, for distribution of ‘Family Kits’ to 1500 families in the two cities. A Family Kit, sufficient for a family of 4-5 individuals, comprises dry food, personal hygiene essentials (including toothpaste, soap and hand wash) and PPE.

The Company has also collaborated with Voluntary Health Services (VHS), a non-profit hospital trust in Chennai as well as Naidu Hospital, run by Pune Municipal Corporation and which specialises in treating patients with infectious diseases. A 42-bed COVID isolation ward in VHS will be supplied with medical equipment, and Naidu Hospital will be supplied with air validation systems and a medical oxygen pipeline necessary for treating infected patients. In addition to the financial aid, FCA India’s employees have voluntarily contributed a portion of their salaries towards alleviating the lives of the needy. These funds will also be used towards donating food grains, PPE and hospitalisation of affected families and individuals.

Jeep communities in India have volunteered in relief camps, donated money, food, and clothing to the poor.

Commenting on the initiative, Dr Partha Datta – President and Managing Director, FCA India said, “While a much-needed strategy is being put in place to restart economic activity by reopening various industries, large sections of the community are still displaced and are in need of basic necessities and proper medical treatment to survive the next couple of months. Our initiative is aimed at helping people tide over these difficult circumstances as critical steps are being taken to flatten the curve as quickly as possible. I am also incredibly proud that our employees have generously contributed a portion of their salary to help in the relief efforts.”

Globally, FCA has taken many initiatives in many countries that it operates in. In order to support global PPE requirements, including India, FCA has converted two lines at its Comau manufacturing facility in China to produce one million face masks per month. In the US, meals were provided to one million school-age children in communities around FCA’s plants in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The meal programme was extended to children across the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Brazil, FCA converted its leisure and sports club in Betim into a 200-bed field hospital for COVID-19 affected patients, in just one week. This hospital includes infirmary, Intensive Care Units (ICU) and recovery units and houses a cafeteria and resting rooms for the medical staff that is treating patients round the clock. In China and Italy, FCA has donated vehicles that can support frontline workers and has provided and facilitated supply medical and much needed PPE in many markets across the world experiencing shortages.

Cosmo Foundation
Cosmo Foundation has committed Rs 50 Lakhs to address the crisis by identifying community needs, partnered with committed organisations and made intensive efforts to reach the most vulnerable population from diverse social strata and diverse localities. The Foundation organised food for families of patients near AIIMS and various other hospitals for migrants and daily wage labourers in New Delhi. About 30,000 meals were served.  Similarly, 5000 kgs of groceries were distributed to rickshaw pullers and labourers. This was organised by partnering with Smile India Foundation, Delhi Langar Seva Society, Annamitra Foundation, Vaish Samaj Sudhar Samiti, Earth Savior Foundation and the Delhi Police. As per the requirement and requests, the Foundation also supplied grocery kits to Kishangarh and Navalgadh areas of Rajasthan.

Similarly, the Foundation provided massive relief through food and education in Aurangabad district, which is one of the worst affected districts in Maharashtra and Vadodara district, which is the second-most affected district in Gujarat. Looking at the need, 2000 meals were served to daily wagers in MIDC area with the help of ISKCON, 1350 families were provided grocery kits in Aurangabad city and Turkabad, Limbejalgav, Waluj and Shendra villages by partnering with Prayas Foundation. In Karjan block of Vadodara district 500 kgs of grocery and 600 meals was distributed to daily wagers and migrants sheltered on Karjan highway. At both locations, masks and sanitisers provided for 450 corona warriors i.e., police and front-liners on ground.

Yamini Kumar, Managing Trustee of Cosmo Foundation said, “These are unprecedented times and we have a larger humanitarian responsibility to address the needs of the less privileged and less fortunate sections of the society. We are partnering with prominent NGOs to provide much-needed help to the needy. We will continue to participate and collaborate in whatever way we could to overcome this COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to the wellbeing of our nation,”

Education and learning is a distant dream for rural students in Lockdown. Cosmo Foundation has also started providing quality education on topics like computer education, English, life skills, arithmetic and native languages through online digital platforms and also teaching mobile operations for various purposes to students.

Looking at the need, a series of videos, stories and posters have been developed to educate the community on techniques of hand wash, the importance of social distancing, ensuring health and hygiene to build immunity and correct use and disposal of Masks. These are circulated to the rural population through Whatsapp groups and social media.

HDFC Bank, A.R. Rahman & Prasoon Joshi present #HumHaarNahiMaanenge
HDFC Bank released #HumHaarNahiMaanenge (We Will Not Give Up), a collaborative song of hope. The single is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of India and millions of Indians who are standing together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The song is composed by Oscar and Grammy award-winning musician A.R. Rahman, and the lyrics are penned by noted poet and lyricist, Prasoon Joshi. The track also brings together an ensemble of musicians from all over India. The featured artists include renowned names such as Clinton Cerejo, Mohit Chauhan, Harshdeep Kaur, Mika Singh, Jonita Gandhi, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, Sid Sriram, Shruti Haasan, Shashaa Tirupati, Khatija Rahman and Abhay Jodhpurkar. India’s premier percussionist Sivamani, sitarist Asad Khan and bass prodigy Mohini Dey are also part of this esteemed project.

Link: https://youtu.be/2VqBlZZ4H6E-

The song was conceptualised as a clarion call to spread hope, positivity and motivation. The powerful, emotional track reminds people that we are in this together and we will get through it together. The song brings to fore the many moments of kindness, hope, support, courage and care that are shining through in these challenging circumstances.

Through this track, HDFC Bank wants to show its solidarity and support to the nation by encouraging more and more people to donate to PM-CARES Fund. Every donation makes a difference and the Bank appeals to one and all to contribute. It will also contribute Rs 500/- each time the song is shared via social media as this small action will have a multiplier effect on the amount that is being contributed towards the PM-CARES Fund from HDFC Bank. Earlier this month, HDFC Group contributed Rs 150 Crore towards the PM-CARES Fund.

“As a socially-responsible corporate citizen, we want to do the best that we can for our nation,” said Ravi Santhanam, Chief Marketing Officer, HDFC Bank. “Music is universal; it lifts the spirit and soothes the soul. Through this tribute, we want to touch the heart of every person in the country and let them know that they are not alone. Together, we will emerge stronger. Right now, every contribution bolsters the nation’s effort to fight the pandemic. We salute the undying spirit of our countrymen and reiterate our commitment to help and support to defeat COVID-19.”

“This song has brought all of us together for a noble cause and we hope it inspires the nation to come together too. Kudos to HDFC Bank for committing to donate to the PM-CARES Fund for every share of this music video,” said composer A.R. Rahman.

“We have created several memorable pieces of work. And I am glad that HDFC Bank is partnering with us in these unprecedented times. Though this is not the most ideal of circumstances for creativity, but as artists we have to break through adversity and catch the finger of hope. My poem is centred around the thought of the un-putdownable spirit of us humans. We have much to learn, but together we will surmount the odds, we won’t give up,” said noted poet and lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

Together with HDFC Bank, this campaign has been conceptualised and executed by their creative agency partner Kinnect and digital media firm Qyuki.

Rallis India
Rallis India Ltd., a Tata Enterprise and one of India’s leading Agro Sciences companies, has undertaken several proactive measures to combat the global pandemic while ensuring the safety of all employees, community members and other stakeholders.

In line with Tata Group andTata Chemicals’ initiatives, Rallis India has adopted a two-pronged approach to tackle this situation. One intervention focuses on supporting the government and the other one on supporting the local communities.

Under the initiatives to support the government, Rallis India’s Akola manufacturing facility provided hand sanitisers to the State governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Karnataka through Tata Chemicals, its parent company and Tata Trusts. So far, the Company has distributed over 55,000 litres of hand sanitisers.

Additionally, it has also distributed 400 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to the local administration, out of which 300 were given to the collector office in Bharuch.

Rallis India has also been relentlessly working towards ensuring the safety of the communities in its operational areas. It has distributed dry food packets of rice, flour, pulses, spices, oil, sugar etc. to community members around Ankleshwar and Dahej (Crop Care) in Gujarat and GP Pally and Kokkonda Plant (Seeds Division) in Telangana. To ensure hygienic practices, the Company has planned to distribute sanitisers to communities around the Company’s plant units such as Ankleshwar, Dahej, Lote, Akola and G P Pally and Kokkonda Seeds units.

Furthermore, there has been a dearth of protective face masks which is crucial to contain the spread of the virus. To address this issue, Rallis India has distributed 4000 face masks to the community around its Dahej unit and an additional 1000 will be supplied to its Lote unit.

Alok Chandra, Vice President – HR & Corporate Sustainability, Rallis India said, “Rallis India has been extending its support to governments and communities to ensure the well-being of citizens in this time of crisis. We are committed to working with the local authorities for the welfare of all community members. Through these interventions, we hope to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19 since the safety of all our employees, their families and the local community is of utmost importance.”

The Company has also started production of hand sanitisers in Ankleshwar Plant at Gujarat, and in the coming weeks, Rallis India will be supplying sanitisers to Gujarat, North Eastern States, Tamil Nadu and North Indian States, thus, continuing its efforts to combat the global crisis.

Cargill
As COVID-19 continues to spread, there is a growing need to feed the most vulnerable communities in our society. In line with its purpose of nourishing the world, Cargill has pledged support to families through dry ration kits containing Gemini Cooking Oil and NatureFresh Acti Lite along with NatureFresh Atta and cooked meals. The relief efforts will impact families across cities like Delhi/ NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune to name a few. This is in line with Cargill India’s pledge to support 16 million meals across the country, providing nutrition to 150,000 families across 16 States.

Maharashtra is a key market for Cargill’s edible oils business in India. In Pune, Cargill is working with the District Administration (Pune Zilla Parishad) to supply Gemini Cooking Oil to 1,00,000 families in need in the region. Additionally, the organisation is also working with NGO partners to supply cooked meals and family kits to impacted families in the region, as well.  We are working with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Zomato Feeding India, MagicBus India Foundation and India Food Banking Network in Maharashtra, to ensure that relief and recovery efforts are being effectively directed to the communities who are most affected.

Along with this, contractual workers at Kurkumbh where Cargill’s edible oil plant is located, are being provided cooked meals daily. Cargill is also allotting hygiene kits for all contract workers, distributing masks and making sanitiser available to local communities near the plants.

Cargill is also contributing to the PM-CARES Fund to help fight the pandemic. Given its extensive distribution network, the oils business is also leveraging its own distribution network and working with local state authorities to meet hyper-local needs with in-kind donations across the country.

Piyush Patnaik, Managing Director, Cargill’s oils business in India said, “The present circumstances have impacted every industry and community across the world. Given the nature of our business, we are aware of our responsibility and are working tirelessly to supply essential commodities where most needed. We are also ensuring distribution of sanitisation kits to our workers and the communities where we operate. We are supporting local authorities and reaching out through NGO partners to provide food items and meals to nourish those affected. We will continue to support our employees and communities in this time of need.”

Cargill has curated an AV which can be viewed below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywjDKFPEaCI&feature=youtu.be

Embassy Office Parks
Embassy Office Park REIT (‘Embassy REIT’), India’s first and only listed REIT, has been committed to reducing the impact of the COVID-19 virus since its outbreak. In line with its corporate ethos to work with local communities, Embassy Office Parks has launched various initiatives in the cities of Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida and Pune with a focus on extending support to the police and fire personnel serving on the frontlines of the pandemic.  

Mike Holland, Chief Executive Officer Embassy, REIT said, “The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. The efforts of the Government in curtailing the spread of the disease are truly commendable. It is also the duty of every corporation to help in providing supplemental support and relief where possible. At Embassy Office Parks, we have focused our efforts to support community workers and have invested over INR One Crore to combat the COVID -19 crisis, with significant interventions.”

Supporting police and law enforcement agencies
While maintaining order and ensuring that citizens are obeying the lockdown, the traffic police are at a greater risk of contracting the virus. To aid them in conducting their duties in a safe and healthy manner, Embassy REIT has set up eight hydration stations in multiple cities where Embassy properties are located (Bangalore, Pune, Noida and Mumbai). The stations are equipped with drinking water, tea/coffee, refreshments, access to first aid and toilets. These hydration stations are open 24 hours a day so that police personnel working across shifts can take rest and refreshment between shifts.

In addition, Embassy REIT has procured and hand over 50,000 sanitisers, more than 1,00,000 disposable protective masks and nutritional snacks for the task forces in these cities. Every day, over 15,000 police employees are supported by this initiative and this programme has touched the lives of over 2,00,000 police personnel till date.

R. Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Traffic, Bengaluru City Traffic Police,added, “We were very grateful and pleasantly surprised when we were approached by Embassy to offer their support to our entire force. As the traffic police personnel are working day and night to contain the spread of the virus, we are taking precautions to safeguard their health as well. Such acts of kindness and generosity have really been encouraging and motivating to the entire force.”

Furthermore, Embassy REIT has provided regular sanitisation and fumigation to police stations and fire stations in multiple cities. Regular servicing along with the donation of fumigation equipment have helped in curtailing the spread of the virus and protecting the lives of the social workers.

Madhukar Panday, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Mumbai said, “We are thankful to the Embassy team, who have been supporting us through this tough phase by providing sanitisers, nourishment and for setting up two hydration points to help the on-ground traffic police personnel.”   

Caring for the community
To alleviate the distress faced by the migrant workers and daily wage earners, Embassy activated its collaborative model for conducting social responsibility projects. This resulted in internal employees along with various corporate tenants and partners contributing over Rs 115 Lakhs to provide dry rations, nutritious meals, clean water and sanitation to contribute towards over 3,00,000 meals.

Communities in and around the business parks, government schools in the vicinity, daily wage and migrant workers, construction workers in camps and people below the poverty line in different geographies have been regularly supported with cooked meals or dry food rations. Construction workers at the Embassy site have additionally benefitted from the provision of clean drinking water, handwashing stations and safety measures such as the regular sanitisation of their living spaces.

SBI Foundation
As the nation faces an unprecedented challenge, true to its vision and mission SBI Foundation, the CSR arm of State Bank of India, has committed Rs 30 Crore to implement various COVID relief programmes all across India. SBI Foundation has geared up to assist in the war against COVID and has planned the following interventions:

  • Food relief support
  • Strengthening healthcare infrastructure
  • Capacity building of healthcare workers
  • Research on COVID related projects in tie-up with IISc.

To implement these initiatives, SBI Foundation has set up a new flagship programme on Health theme. Distribution of ventilators, PPEs etc to critical hospitals and supply of 10000 freshly cooked meals daily in four centres of India have already been initiated. SBI launching Project Echo India in partnership with ECHO India and MoHFW to provide training and mentoring to 50,000 healthcare professionals across various States, has been another achievement by SBI Foundation. Another programme launched is the India COVID-19 Healthcare Alliance (ICHA) with USAID, a healthcare initiative to supplement the efforts of the State and Central Governments.

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI stated, “We, at SBI, have always believed in giving back to the society and the nation. Today, when the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for the country, we hope our humble initiatives would make a difference in our collective fight against COVID-19. SBI is constructively engaging in collaborative and proactive action to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Our pensioners have gone the extra mile by contributing generously to the COVID relief fund in response to my appeal and have become a true force for good at this time of national crisis. We would like to extend a personal thank you to all of them, our partners for their added support and encourage more Corporates and public sector enterprises to join us in our war against COVID-19.”

A COVID-19 relief fund was also launched by SBI Foundation to mobilise funds for fighting COVID-19 pandemic. SBI Mahila Samiti President, Reeta Agarwal exhorted the wives of employees to donate for the cause and there was overwhelming response resulting in huge collection. The funds will be used to supply ventilators to critical hospitals all across India and in providing food kits to the needy. She said, “This contribution signifies that the ladies club members all over India vigorously rallied and united to mobilize funds to support those suffering from the effects of COVID-19. I believe it is our duty as relatively more fortunate citizens of India, to rise to the occasion to mitigate the pain and anguish of our fellow citizens. Our members all across India are proud to be able to help make a difference in the fight against this virus.”