Planting Seeds of Hope

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While we have seen a galloping rise in coronavirus cases in the country even after more than three months of lockdown, there is also the ongoing urgent need of continuing with relief work and providing medical equipment, protective gears, medicines, test kits, ration kits, hygiene kits, etc., to the neediest. We highlight some of the initiatives that are planting the seeds of hope in the Corona Warriors as well as those who have no one to turn to during this crisis. 

Coca-Cola and United Way Mumbai 

As the need to step up relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Coca-Cola in India has partnered with United Way Mumbai to augment healthcare initiatives in 48 public hospitals across eight States in the country. Apart from large-scale support to public hospitals and healthcare workers, the partnership has also committed to serving 65000+ public service personnel such as sanitation workers, police staff and community health workers across the nation. This initiative is a part of Coca-Cola’s commitment of INR 100 Crore towards helping the healthcare system and communities to combat the crisis and contain the spread of the pandemic.

As a part of this relief initiative, Coca-Cola and United Way Mumbai have commenced a distribution drive in Mumbai. PPE and hygiene aid kits are being distributed amongst frontline warriors in Mumbai to help them fight against the spread of the coronavirus. A total of 2600 healthcare workers across 13 hospitals, 20000 sanitation workers, 6000 police personnel and 1200 community health workers are expected to benefit in this region.

The initial phase of the relief program will be rolled out in eight critically-affected States including Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune), Delhi, Tamil Nadu (Chennai), Karnataka (Bengaluru), Telangana (Hyderabad), Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. To provide immediate support and enhancement of health infrastructure, public hospitals will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comprising N95 masks, 3-ply disposable masks, surgical caps, surgical goggles, waterproof gown, shoe covers, gloves for the safety of healthcare workers. The support package will also include sanitizer dispensers, additional ICU beds, and non-contact thermometers for medical preparedness in dealing with the anticipated number of cases across the country. Working alongside the government bodies and local institutions to support basic needs and ensure safety and protection of our frontline healthcare personnel and communities, this outreach aims to positively impact 9600 healthcare workers and over nine lakh patients across India.

Additionally, to equip public service personnel such as police staff, sanitation workers and other community and social workers who are working in the hotspot zones, protective gears such as masks and gloves along with sanitiser dispensers will also be provided. This support is expected to reach approximately 50,000 sanitation workers, 11,000+ police personnel and 6,000 community health workers across India.

Commenting on the initiative, Ishteyaque Amjad, Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia said, “We are humbled to collaborate with our partner United Way Mumbai in providing support to the health and safety of the country’s frontline warriors. We are hopeful that with collective efforts and resilience, we will be able to steer ourselves out of these testing times.”

Adding further, Jayanti Shukla, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Mumbai said, “The rapid spread of the virus has left doctors, nurses and other frontline workers with inadequate access to the protective equipment, necessary to defend themselves. In such testing times, it’s important to ensure their personal safety and safeguard their health so our citizens can continue to receive the care and support that they need. Through this collaboration, Coca-Cola and United Way Mumbai will continue to identify, plan and support interventions to areas of greatest needs.” 

HCL

  In the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, HCL has provided safety equipment to police personnel and sanitary workers in the state in order to help them protect themselves from the highly contagious virus as they continue to provide essential services during the pandemic. HCL’s contributions include 340,000 nos of 3-Ply Masks, 66,500 N-95 masks, 19,000 PPE kits and 12,750 litres of sanitiser. The safety gear provided by the global conglomerate also includes 130,000 gloves, 27,000 face shields, gumboots and battery-operated sprayers.

HCL has contributed the safety equipment to Tamil Nadu police through the office of the Director-General of Police, the office of Chennai Police Commissioner, the office of Madurai City Police Commissioner (ADGP) and the office of Superintendent of Police, Madurai. A substantial part of the overall contribution including 20,000 N-95 masks, 20,000 rubber gloves, 2,300 gumboots and 4,500 PPE kits have been provided to the sanitary workers of the Greater Chennai Corporation.

Speaking about the contribution Nidhi Pundhir, Director HCL Foundation said, “While the world faces unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our frontline workers including police personnel and sanitary staff risk infection every day as they work towards providing critical services in these difficult times. At HCL, we consider it our duty to take whatever steps we can to strengthen our response to the pandemic while ensuring the safety of our frontline workers. We have, therefore, contributed a variety of safety gear to the various police departments in the State and also to the Greater Chennai Corporation.” 

Quick Heal CSR and Shri Vishwavati Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Research Centre

The world economy has suffered serious disruptions in the wake of COVID-19. The pandemic has shaken both humankind and businesses to their core and brought them to their knees. However, frontline professionals such as healthcare providers, policemen, sanitation workers, government employees, and delivery personnel, among others, have still continued to serve people by risking their lives during these turbulent times.

Against this backdrop, Quick Heal CSR has associated with Shri Vishwavati Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Research Centre to extend support to the COVID Warriors of our country by distributing over one lakh Rasa Madhav Vati, an immunity booster ayurvedic medicine. Created by medicinal and herbal extracts, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this medicine strengthens immunity against bacterial and viral infections, which cause cold, cough, body ache, and fatigue. This medicine also purifies the blood, aids the respiratory system and improves digestion in the process.

Commenting on the same, Dr Kailash Katkar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Quick Heal Technologies Limited said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, it is our duty to come forward and secure the real fighters who are serving the nation while being on the viral front. We at Quick Heal Technologies are delighted to collaborate with Shri Vishwavati Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Research Centre to contribute our bit to the ‘Covid-19 Warriors’ with an aim to keep them secure through ayurvedic medicines. We will continue to take more such initiatives to protect India and its heroes in every possible manner.”

Anandnath Sangavdekar, President, Shree Vishwavati Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Research Centre said, “The frontline workers are continuously putting their lives on the line in the fight against Covid-19. Since they regularly come in contact with positive patients, it makes them highly vulnerable and puts their lives at stake. However, with our unique collaboration with Quick Heal, we can shield them from such risks through our immunity booster formulation Rasa Madhav Vati. It is developed by Shri Vishwavati Ayurvedic Chikitsalaya and Research Centre, Kolhapur and run by a charitable legacy Trust. We are glad to associate with Quick Heal and help our heroes smoothly sail through the crisis.”

Over the past two months, Quick Heal has been actively making contributions to the lives of impacted communities. It has distributed ration kits to the needy, provided food, shelter and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to various social workers, and also made generous contributions to the PM CARES Fund. The brand not only believes in protecting Digital India through its suite of security solutions but also shield the country in the real world through such initiatives.

BASF

BASF has extended its full support to the people of India and its Government to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic through several donations and relief initiatives.

BASF SE has manufactured and donated 4 metric tons of Ultramid® B24 N-polymers to the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA), an autonomous body associated with the Ministry of Textiles, to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Indian medical fraternity and police force.

With the help of the Indian embassy in Berlin, along with the BASF team at its Antwerp site, BASF SE manufactured Ultramid® B24 N-polymers at short notice. Despite several challenges, the products were successfully airlifted from Frankfurt, Germany, to Mumbai and subsequently reached Ahmedabad by road. ATIRA will use the raw materials to produce filters for more than 10 million high-quality N99 face masks for the Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), the research arm of Ministry of Defense, and for the Indian Ministry of Health.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to BASF for the donation as well as the quick response from their teams across India, Germany and the Netherlands, ensuring the products were manufactured and delivered in time. This collaboration enables us to produce filters for high-quality N99 masks and provide them to our frontline COVID-19 warriors,” said Deepali Plawat, Deputy Director, ATIRA.

Additionally, BASF in India is supporting the efforts to fight the pandemic in the country in various ways:

  • Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) – BASF in India has earmarked a fund of INR 31.2 million for COVID-19 relief activities. A large portion of this fund, INR 18 million, has been dedicated to the PM-CARES Fund.
  • Local community outreach – With a fund of INR 13.2 million, BASF is supporting local communities around its manufacturing sites by distributing critical essentials, including food supplies, masks, sanitisers and gloves.
  • Employee contribution and volunteering– BASF created a platform for employees to donate from their salary to the PM CARES Fund voluntarily. In addition to several employee volunteering initiatives, BASF dedicated a sum of INR 1.2 million from the employee contribution.

“At BASF, we are committed to being a strong corporate citizen. We will stand in solidarity with the people of India and the government to fight the coronavirus and to reach out to the people in need. Through our joint efforts, we will emerge stronger from this crisis together,” said Narayan Krishnamohan, Managing Director BASF India Limited and Head South Asia.

Genius Foundation

Genius Foundation, the CSR arm of Genius Consultants Ltd, has recently contributed a notable amount to support the efforts towards fighting COVID-19 in India. The Foundation contributed INR 20 Lakh to the PM-CARES Fund and INR 5 Lakh to the West Bengal State Emergency Relief Fund.

This sum will primarily be utilised to provide relief to the people in this distress situation. Additionally, Genius Foundation has joined hands with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to lend their support to the people affected in Cyclone Amphan and in COVID-19. In the presence of Jayanta Chatterjee, BDO, Rajarhat, they jointly distributed 600 plus relief materials like food items, hygiene kits and packs of basic amenities to the people.

Admitad India and Fiinovation

Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. (Fiinovation), a global CSR consultant has partnered with Admitad India to support the frontline workers including Police personnel, Municipal staff, security staff and other emergency services workers in Gurugram, Haryana. The aim of the intervention is to provide safety kits to ensure the safety and protection of brave frontline warriors who are putting their lives at stake while serving the community amid the pandemic.

The on-ground implementation of the project will be taken care of by Discipleship Centre, a Delhi-based NGO working towards the development of marginalised communities. The safety kits will comprise of masks, face shields, sanitisers, gloves and other hygiene essentials to help contain the virus. Umbrellas and water bottles will also be distributed to provide relief from the scorching summer heat. The most important aspect of the intervention is generating awareness among the frontline workers on COVID-19, in line with the safety guidelines issued by World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW).

While talking about the project, Dr Soumitro Chakraborty, CEO, Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. (Fiinovation) said, “As the number of positive cases keeps increasing by the day, the health and safety of our frontline heroes is the utmost priority. But, unfortunately, due to the lack of precautionary measures, many are getting infected in the course of their duties. The initiative will provide adequate protective gear which will safeguard them and help maintain higher hygiene and safety standards while fighting the pandemic.”

Admitad India and Fiinovation earlier partnered for a community-level intervention in Delhi-NCR, to provide immediate relief to the people living in the slum regions and migrant labourers who face the highest vulnerability due to the global health crisis and the lockdown that followed.

Axis Bank Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a huge nation-wide challenge for communities across all levels. To offer ease and comfort during this hour of crisis, Axis Bank has been offering all possible banking support and services to the citizens of India. While the Bank has been providing an array of banking solutions to its customers, Axis Bank Foundation (ABF) under its core theme ‘Sustainable Livelihood’ has reached out to close to 20000 families of the state, with a focus on enhancing livelihood opportunities for the marginalised communities and building resilience to manage uncertainties. This is done by leveraging on various welfare schemes of the central and state governments and in partnership with NGOs like Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) (AKRSPI), Nav Bharat Jagruti Kendra and Don Bosco Tech Society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in different sets of challenges that impacted the lives and livelihoods of the rural poor. ABF was quick to respond to the emerging needs of the communities.

Initiatives by ABF: 

  • Support to farmers – Provided storage kits to farmers who have a good Rabi yield and need proper storage until the markets open. Door-to-door vegetable marketing through producer groups has also been enabled supporting both the producer and the consumer.
  • Support to Quarantine Centres – Quarantine centres were created in schools and Panchayats for workers, who were working in other geographies. The centres were equipped with sanitisers, beds, drinking water, food supplies and all other basic facilities for use by quarantined people.
  • Awareness Campaign – People were sensitized about maintaining hygiene and discipline through WhatsApp groups, awareness videos, wall paintings and pamphlets. Regular announcements/recorded jingles were played on speakers in auto-rickshaws/ tempos on the importance of using hand sanitizers, washing hands regularly, using masks and maintaining social distance.
  • Distribution of sanitation kits – PPE kits consisting of masks, gloves, soap, hand sanitizer etc. were provided to the frontline workers eg., health workers, police, functionaries at Gram Panchayat level and community leaders. The production of masks was initiated locally to ensure a steady supply.
  • Distribution of dry ration – Ration kits comprising of flour, dal, rice, sugar, tea, masala and oil were distributed to the rural households.

Commenting on ABF’s contribution towards relief measures, Jacob Ninan, ET & CEO, Axis Bank Foundation said, “The pandemic has created a huge chaos in everyone’s life. Rural poor in States like Bihar are facing the brunt of it. The influx of migrants has added to the problem. ABF is working with its NGO partners equip the people at the bottom of the pyramid to deal with the situation better.  As a responsible corporate organization, we have taken a few small steps to provide for a better standard of living to these deprived communities. We remain committed to increasing our work in the State of Bihar.”

ABF will continue to work closely with its NGO partners to enable the rural communities in meeting livelihood challenges that will emerge owing to the pandemic.