The darkest night is just before dawn. As this line from an inspirational song reminds us that things always seem the worst right before they improve. We take hope in this. Yet, as we wait for this season of testing to get over, we know that we will survive it, emerge stronger than ever. Providing relief and hope to the nation, along with various measures undertaken by the government at the Centre and States, are Corporate entities, who in their various capacities have been making a difference.
In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, IDBI Bank has contributed an amount of
Rs 3,95,46,223 to the PM-CARES fund instituted by the Government of India, towards containment and relief efforts.
Rakesh Sharma, MD & CEO, IDBI Bank said, “IDBI Bank cares about the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens, and through this contribution, we support the efforts of the government in fighting coronavirus pandemic.”
In support of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the nation to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, PepsiCo India, along with the global food and beverage company’s philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, has committed to providing over 5 million meals to support families impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This initiative is part of PepsiCo’s #GiveMealsGiveHope global programme. The company is also extending support to the healthcare and diagnostic facilities, supplementing their efforts to combat the pandemic by providing 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits.
PepsiCo India has partnered with Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide cooked meals to the underserved communities, through their centralized kitchens where they are partnering closely with the local authorities for distribution of meals. PepsiCo India has also partnered with Smile Foundation to provide dry food rations to support meals for over 8,000 vulnerable families adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
PepsiCo India has partnered with Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), to provide 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits. FIND, a non-profit organisation is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) collaborating centre for laboratory strengthening and diagnostic technology evaluation. It works closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. These testing kits will be deployed across public and private healthcare laboratories identified by the Indian Government to scale up access to COVID-19 testing.
Ahmed El Sheikh, President, PepsiCo India, said, “India, like the rest of the world, is facing an unprecedented challenge. We at PepsiCo India are fully committed to supporting the nation in its fight against COVID-19. Providing meals to the economically weaker sections and testing kits to the diagnostic units are critical requirements at this stage. PepsiCo India will be activating its NGO partners – Akshaya Patra Foundation, Smile Foundation and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), to provide over five million meals and 25,000 COVID-19 testing kits across the country.”
He further added that PepsiCo India stands committed to lending its full support to both the Central and State Governments in their fight to collectively overcome the global health challenge.
To further mobilise funds, PepsiCo India has launched a double matching gifts programme which involves its employees also lending their support to communities that are impacted by COVID-19. As part of the programme, PepsiCo Foundation will match all employee donations by two-fold and give the total accumulated fund to the NGO partners working with the company.
The CK Birla Group
The CK Birla Group, Amita and CK Birla, have made a commitment of Rs 35 Crores to support the Government in the fight against COVID-19. Rs 25 Crores will be contributed to the PM-CARES Fund, and the remaining amount is being directed towards State Government funds and supplying equipment, masks and PPE.
The hospitals of the Group in Kolkata and Jaipur are working with the respective state governments in mitigating this crisis. In the same spirit of solidarity with the nation, the employees of each of the Group companies are making voluntary personal contributions towards this fund, which will be added to this corpus.
The COVID-19 crisis is the defining crisis of our times, and our response, support and efforts will go a long way towards shaping our nation’s ability to successfully overcome this. The CK Birla Group pledges its support to the country and to the Government in this hour, even as our various companies work towards ensuring that our employees and our communities are supported financially and otherwise, to deal with this unprecedented crisis.
Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute in partnership with the National Health Mission (NHM) and Government of Assam are collectively working to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the State. The Sarathi 104 Health Helpline has been offering 24×7 medical advice on COVID-19 to callers every day. In order to deal with an increased number of calls, the frontline staff team has been significantly expanded. Paramedics, counsellors and doctors, are relentlessly attending to calls related to health advice, counselling, information sharing and reporting of COVID-19.
Post the lockdown announced by the Government of Assam on March 22, 2020, the team has collectively reached out to 18,043 quarantined people of Assam through outbound calls and additionally attended over 88,895 incoming calls till April 3, 2020. Over 80 per cent of these calls have been related to seeking guidance and advice on COVID-19.
In order to contain the spread of the virus, the Health Minister, Government of Assam, Shri. Himanta Biswa Sarma, made an appeal to the citizens on reporting any individual with a travel history to any place outside Assam via Sarathi 104. Since then the centre has received calls from all across Assam. People are coming forward and voluntarily reporting the cases. This information is shared on real-time with the Government to provide the necessary support to the individual. The 104 Helpline has also served as a nodal point for contact tracing to help curb the spread of infection.
As a support to the district administration, Piramal Swasthya’s on-field team consisting of Government of Assam’s Sanjeevani-Village Health Outreach Program, with 80 Mobile Medical Units manned by more than 350 paramedics and support staff are actively engaged in field screening. The team is involved in checking on the health and wellbeing of quarantined individuals across all districts of Assam. In coordination with district health authorities, the team has screened 2730 individuals so far. Further, the Field Officers of Prevention of Parents to Child Transmission of HIV project has been doing home delivery of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and cotrimoxazole preventive therapy (CPT) medicines to the number of positive pregnant women and their spouses in remote locations across Assam.
Paresh Parasnis, CEO, Piramal Foundation said, “We at Piramal Swasthya continue to work in partnership with Government, in the remotest part of the country, to address the COVID-19 pandemic. While the country is under lockdown for safety, our team is working round-the-clock to ensure that there is enough awareness related to COVID-19 among the marginalized communities. In Assam, through Sarathi 104 Health Helpline, we have provided validated information as per the guidelines of WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to 1,35,727 beneficiaries in the month of March 2020. This initiative has helped in bringing down the anxiety and fear in the society caused due to the coronavirus.”
Joining a company-wide effort to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19, Bacardi India has commenced production of hand sanitisers at its co-packing facility in Telangana, an initiative the company plans to roll out in additional states where it has co-packing manufacturing facilities.
Bacardi will be producing 70,000 litres of hand sanitisers, which will be distributed primarily to district government hospitals in these States. The company is working closely with local district authorities to ensure a steady supply to the hospitals.
This initiative follows a global announcement on the company’s commitment to helping produce more than 267,000 gallons (1.1 million litres) of hand sanitisers, as worldwide demand continues to exceed supply. Bacardi-owned manufacturing sites across the United States, Mexico, France, England, Italy, Scotland and Puerto Rico are already part of this effort, where the company is diverting its global production power, resources and processes to supply the much-needed alcohol essential for the increased production of hand sanitisers.
Muthukumar, Operations Director, Bacardi India, said, “We, at Bacardi, have always endeavoured to support local communities, especially during difficult times like these. By boosting the supply of hand sanitisers, a critical need of the hour, we hope to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.”
The company facilities will be making use of alcohol in stock, as well as set aside designated quantities of alcohol, for production. All sanitizers produced will contain more than the minimum alcohol content recommended by the World Health Organization.
Conscious of the impact on industry partners, Bacardi has also pledged $3 million USD globally to support bars and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 shutdown, through an initiative called #RaiseYourSpirits.
Tupperware, a conscientious global premium homeware brand based out of Orlando, US, announced measures to support daily wage earners during these times of distress. The brand has partnered with Zomato Feeding India in its effort to eradicate hunger amidst the chaos spread by COVID-19. Caring for food, particularly preservation is a part of Tupperware brand’s DNA and therefore Tupperware wants to ensure that no one goes hungry in times where there is a paucity of food. To assist Zomato Feeding India with their endeavour to feed daily wage workers who have been hit the hardest during this lockdown, Tupperware is extending its support to serve over 5000 families. Zomato Feeding India’s initiative, ‘Feed the Daily Wager’, aims to provide food support to families and to help them have a reliable and nourishing supply of meals in the absence of employment opportunities. To add to that, Tupperware is running a campaign called ‘Nourish the Needy’, under which the brand is asking their associates to contribute towards the cause. Tupperware India will further match the total contribution made by their associates.
Commenting on Tupperware’s contribution towards fighting hunger and food wastage, Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director, Tupperware India said, ”The situation worldwide right now is extremely unfortunate, and the pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Not everyone has the fortune of receiving two full meals in a day. Innumerable people are left hungry especially the daily wage earners as they have lost employment opportunity and have nowhere to go. Therefore, there is a great need for everyone to be involved in identifying and providing solutions to address this raging problem. We’re proud that through our association with Zomato Feeding India, we’re able to do our part. We’re contributing for the meals of 5000 families and also running a similar campaign internally called ‘Nourish the Needy’. We’re sure that our associates will wholeheartedly contribute towards this cause, and Tupperware pledges to match their contributions as well. Through our durable and reusable containers, Zomato Feeding India’s volunteers can store food safely, as they work tirelessly to feed the hungry. Not only do the containers make the transportation easier, but they also extend the shelf life of the food so that it remains fresh, with the nutritional value intact. We’re honoured and proud to be a part of this movement and we encourage everyone to do their part.”
Commenting on their association with Tupperware India, Chandan Mendiratta, Head, Zomato Feeding India said,” We work for our mission to end hunger. The current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world and our country to its knees. The fact that daily wage earners don’t even have food to sustain themselves is a very unsettling feeling, and we want to change that. We’re thankful that Tupperware is lending a helping hand and aiding us in feeding the needy. Through their support, we would be able to go the extra mile in our mission. Tupperware has supported us in the past as well in terms of storage containers. They continue to lead by example.”
This pandemic was nobody’s choice. Together we can lessen the suffering. Together we care.
Here is the link to donate: https://www.feedingindia.org/donate
Max Group and its CSR arm Max India Foundation (MIF) have launched an online pledge campaign #StayHomeIndia to donate up to Rs. 5 Crore for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since social distancing is the most effective measure to deal with the pandemic, the two-pronged campaign encourages those not involved in the delivery of essential services to stay home and will provide funds for testing of COVID-19 for the underprivileged section and for other relief efforts. For every online pledge taken through the campaign to stay at home during the lockdown, Max Group, through MIF, will donate Rs. 500. The pledge can be taken through this link: www.facebook.com/themaxgroup/videos/574139793203827/.
Employees of the Max Group are also volunteering to donate to the COVID-19 efforts through MIF.
The Foundation is already providing COVID-19 relief funding to NGOs and Social Support Groups such as Feeding India, HelpAge, Jamghat, United Sikhs, Adhikar and Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha.
Max Life Insurance has distributed sanitisers and face masks to police personnel in Gurugram to ensure their safety while on duty. Additionally, it has also donated ration to underprivileged families in Haldwani through its Pehal initiative and in Mumbai by providing roughly 30,000 food packets to the KVN Foundation.
Max Group’s senior living business, Antara has taken comprehensive safety measures to protect its Dehradun community residents given seniors’ higher vulnerability to the virus. It is organising a webinar series called #SeniorCareStartsWithUs on mental health for senior citizens with renowned psychiatrist Dr Samir Parikh, from Fortis, every Friday starting April 3, 2020. Dr Parikh and his team will also be available for senior counselling through a 24-hour helpline.
Max Ventures and Industries Limited’s manufacturing unit Max Speciality Films (MSF) in Punjab has restarted operations since it provides packaging material for essential services like packaged food products, personal hygiene and pharma. The operations are being carried out with the help of minimum staff and maximum safety and hygiene measures. MSF has also donated food locally to the communities in Nawasheher in Punjab – an area hard hit by the crisis.
Max Estates Limited, the real estate arm of the Group, has halted all construction activities and has taken the responsibility of providing essentials such as groceries & cooked food to labourers at its construction sites and is also providing food-related aid to the underprivileged in Noida.
Analjit Singh, Founder & Chairman, Max Group, said, “We at Max Group, understand the gravity of this unprecedented situation. These are tough times, and we are taking multiple measures through our various companies to support in every possible way. Sevabhav has been an inherent organizational value since our inception, and we will stand strong with our support. We would urge every Indian citizen to join us in the pledge for social isolation and do what they can to overcome the catastrophic situation.”
Tara Singh Vachani, Managing Trustee, Max India Foundation, said, “At Max India Foundation, our focus has always been to serve the underprivileged. The current crisis puts this segment of the population at great risk, and as responsible corporate citizens we will strive to make a difference in their lives.”
Mohit Talwar, Vice Chairman, Max Group, said, “These difficult times have forced nations to take bold steps while also testing public healthcare systems. We thank all of you who are prioritising your safety and of those around you through social distancing. As you continue to do the same, we, at the Max Group, also want to help you in contributing to the nation by way of a small but significant act.”