Spreading Kindness

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India is still fighting the pandemic, and the journey seems to be a long, hard one. Cases are rising at an alarming rate. The danger is clear and present. The need still abounds. We still witness the unwavering spirit of kindness and large-heartedness of groups and individuals across the country. The fight is still on; so is giving. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Let us be this tough-in-our-determination kind-of-people who will keep the flame of hope alive for those who need it. As we always mention in reports such as these, we salute and appreciate the Giving Warriors who are doing so much for the COVID Warriors and for the most-affected communities in our society.

Bosch

In the fight against coronavirus, Bosch has designed its own line of protective face masks. Bosch India inaugurated its fully-automated in-house production line at its Naganathapura location in Bengaluru. With this, the company aims to manufacture nearly 100,000 masks a day to protect its associates and contribute to the protection of the community at large in India. In doing so, Bosch is helping to relieve the burden on the market. The line was virtually inaugurated with active participation from both Central as well as State Government officials.

Globally, Bosch will produce over 500,000 (half a million) protective face masks per day across five fully automated production lines at four Bosch locations, including the Naganathapura plant in India. These mask production lines have been designed by Bosch’s special-purpose machinery unit and will be available for usage to the workforce at Bosch in India as well. About 3,000,000 of these surgical masks will be supplied free of cost to second level COVID -19 such as healthcare workers, police, municipal corporation workers, ASHA and Anganwadi workers as well as NGOs. The three-layered masks impede the spread of pathogens from the wearer’s nose and throat with a bacterial filtration efficiency greater than 95 per cent. To ensure that these masks are not sold, each mask carries the Bosch logo at the bottom corner.

Speaking at the inauguration, Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited & President, Bosch Group in India said: “At Bosch, we have always kept safety and security of our associates at the forefront across all our operations. This initiative is one of our key steps towards honouring our INR 50 crore commitment to combat COVID-19 pandemic using our innovative technologies and high competence in manufacturing.”

Bosch will leverage its mask manufacturing lines set up in Germany, Mexico, and India to cater to associate protection and regional requirements, effectively extending its COVID-19 protection initiative to the world. This will significantly boost the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. Overall, by the end of June, the production volume of the five lines is set to exceed ten million masks a month.

National Law School of India University, Bengaluru (NLSIU)

From delivering personal protective equipment (PPEs) to raising funds, many NGOs and communities have sprung into action worldwide to tackle the COVID crisis. As one of these many acts of kindness, the efforts of the alumni of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru (NLSIU) has stood out.

In light of the conditions of migrant workers travelling on Shramik trains, professionals who have graduated over the years from the premier institute started the initiative, ‘Serving the Shramiks’. Their target was to reach 1,00,000 Shramik train passengers, to provide them with packets of easy to carry food and water and to assist in arranging for transport in partnership with other organisations. The project was conceived of in the last few days of May after several disconcerting reports about hardships for the train passengers. The lawyers were overwhelmed that funds exceeding their funding target of Rs 60 lakhs flew in over just 48 hours. Their project commenced the next day on June 3, helping Shramik passengers boarding multiple trains at stations in Mumbai, the NCR and Ahmedabad.

Over the last three weeks, in partnership with mass feeding social entrepreneurs, Akshaya Patra Foundation, the group has managed to feed over 1,20,000 people, giving them nourishing food and enough water for the long journeys. Packed trains have departed for several stations across the nation including Howrah, Gorakhpur, Bhubaneshwar, Varanasi, Gadag, Darbhanga, Viluppuram, Patna and Dimapur.

Many have stepped in to make the journey smooth with free goods – Britannia with bread, Farokh Irani with Honeybell cakes, Thyrocare with masks, as have volunteer groups across the country along with these NLSIU alumni, who have braved the COVID threats to step out of the comfort of their own homes to help distribute the food kits and water and to alert the passengers to stations, platforms and schedules.

In their most recent activity, Serving the Shramiks offered support to the marginalised community not only at the railway stations but also at relief camps where several thousands of people are housed at this time of crisis, awaiting their journeys home. The team distributed 1,500 ration kits each day for a week at makeshift tents and homes in Dharavi, Mumbai. They also served a thousand passengers headed for Uttarakhand on short notice at Thane station, where the Central Railways personnel and The Food Culture kitchen came together to make it a successful endeavour.

On a regular basis, these NLSIU alumni have also helped coordinate with nodal officers, Government servants and the Railways to ensure trains are quickly arranged to ferry thousands home. Mumbai-Viluppuram, Thane-Haldwani, Mumbai-Ranchi, Delhi-Purnea and many others have been put together at short notice thanks to their efforts.

The team behind Serving the Shramiks includes eminent lawyers, Rabindra Jhunjhunwala, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Poornima Sampath, Yash Ashar, Sameera Vasudeva, Saikrishna Rajagopal and Nikhil Chandra. 

PHD Rural Development Foundation 

With the soaring heat and summer at its peak, controlling the pandemic situation has become a difficult task. The professionals working on the ground have been doing their duty religiously to maintain the smooth functioning of the administration and maintain law & order at the same time. As an act of solidarity and to honour fighters fighting on the ground, PHD Rural Development Foundation, a social arm of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry with support from its partner Coca Cola India has taken the initiative to distribute juices and beverages to personal from Fire Services on the ground in New Delhi.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry handed over 11,000 bottles of juices sponsored by The Coca Cola India for distribution among their personnel to Atul Garg, Director, Delhi Fire Services at its headquarter in Delhi. The juices and drinks were distributed to various personals at fire stations in New Delhi. Garg highly appreciated the efforts taken up by PHDRDF and thanked the team for their gesture. This initiative was taken with support from Dr Kadambari, CEO PHDRDF and Jasbir Singh, Fire Officer (Retd.) NDMC.  Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman PHDRDF, stated that it is imperative to support COVID-19 warriors at this time of crisis. It is not the responsibility of just district administration but NGOs and Industry Body organisations also play an equally important role in this collective fight against Corona Virus, to help and express our gratitude to the frontline people who are working in this time of crisis.  PHD Rural Development Foundation is working constantly towards bringing a smile on the faces of the people through their small community efforts. Anjana, Sr Program Manager, PHDRDF and the team of PHDRDF lend their valuable support to ensure distribution is done as per norms of Physical distancing and the charity effort reached the right people.

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)  

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has launched a mobile application “Air-Venti” to help residents in the city about the availability of the hospital ICU beds and ventilators in the government and private hospitals around them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the acute shortage of ventilators/BiPAPs for the ‘Respiratory Intensive Care Unit’ for severely ill patients. Valuable time is lost, and the patient’s lives are unnecessarily endangered. Even for patients willing to pay for the costs, a lot of times, relatives are left to fend for themselves running between multiple hospitals. This adds to severe mental trauma to close family and relatives.

The mobile app available to Android users, and shortly for iPhone, aims to provide overall statistics of ICU beds available, information on each government and private hospitals, and for each hospital, the total number of ICU beds and Ventilators, beds and Ventilators occupied and vacant, location map, ability to contact hospital through telephonic call and email.

Octaware Technologies Limited, in partnership with Probity Soft Pvt Ltd., has developed this mobile application and continue to maintain the availability of the data with a mobile backend app developed for the hospitals to update the ICU beds and Ventilators vacant status.

Mumbai is facing another challenge of shortage of Ventilators in ICUs. Currently, the city has approx. 5000 ICU Beds, but the number of ICU beds with Ventilators is just about 600. With COVID-19 impacting the respiratory system of patients, the rate of mortality is increasing due to a shortage of Ventilators in ICU. To address this challenge in a unique way, the “Air-Venti” mobile app aims to provide a platform like ‘Uber for Ventilators’ supplying Ventilators to the private hospitals through crowdsourcing funding from Individuals.

Grundfos Foundation

Given that in India, vulnerable population groups are at risk because of various lockdown measures, three projects in India have received funding via the Grundfos Foundation’s new Community Engagement Grant.

Two of the grants went to Hand in Hand India, an NGO that has been working with Grundfos India on hygiene and water conservation projects. The first grant is helping ‘Green Friends’, a group of 1350 sanitation workers from highly underprivileged backgrounds, who collect household wastes from peri-urban localities in Chennai and Rameswaram (both declared as Red Zones for COVID-19) in Tamil Nadu. To support them in this crisis, the Grant is providing safety gear that will protect them from any COVID-19 contaminated waste they might be cleaning.

The second Grant is supporting 500 health service front line workers and 400 police in Chennai, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts with essential personal protective equipment and other safety gear to protect them from infection. Given the shortage of safety equipment – it is even more necessary to ensure they receive a good supply to protect the medical staff that tend to the patients and the police officers who are deployed to protect the supply lines and keeping public order during the pandemic.

The third Grant will support 115 families of students studying at the PUPS, Karapakkam School, Chennai. This is a school that Grundfos India has been associated with for the last two years through NalandaWay Foundation’s programme. Due to the lockdown, the parents are out of jobs and are struggling to source essential commodities needed for preparing even two meals a day at home. These kits we provided will help more than 600 people for a month.

Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director, Grundfos Foundation, said, “The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a humanitarian crisis globally. We are indebted to frontline workers who have been braving the situation to protect society at large. The Foundation will be working with the Grundfos India team and respective NGOs to execute these three key initiatives.”

A few Grundfos India employees along with representatives from the respective NGOs were involved in the distribution of these PPE and food kits while ensuring the social distancing guidelines.

Pepsi®

Beverage brand Pepsi® today announced #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants, a fund-raising initiative in association with the leading restaurant industry association, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and leading online food delivery aggregator Swiggy. With cause at the heart of it, the initiative aims at providing approximately 2.5 million meals to the workers of the restaurant community who are in distress.

As part of the initiative, whenever any consumer adds any soft drink to his/her meal order on Swiggy from June 25 to July 19, 2020, Pepsi will contribute part of the proceeds in respect of each soft drink ordered to the NRAI COVID-19 Relief Corpus. This fund will be further used to provide meals (dry ration) to restaurant workers who have served us and are suffering due to these challenging times. The offer is valid on any packaged soft drinks ordered from restaurants listed on Swiggy platform which includes carbonated soft drinks, packaged iced tea, packaged juices & packaged juice-based drinks and is not restricted to just the purchase of Pepsi®.

Speaking about the initiative, PepsiCo India spokesperson said, “The environment that we operate in, matters to us. The restaurant industry is an integral part of our ecosystem and has been severely impacted by the ongoing health challenge. Both restaurants and restaurant workers are struggling. Hence, in our endeavour to find various meaningful ways to provide support to the ecosystem, we found that mobilising a movement with consumers and providing food security support to our restaurant workers & their families who are in distress is a timely intervention and need of the hour. Through #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants, we are committed to supporting the ones in need and are extremely thankful to Swiggy and NRAI for their support and partnership for this initiative.”

Srivats TS, VP – Marketing, Swiggy, said “During these times when the hospitality sector is facing major setbacks in adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and sustaining themselves, Swiggy is focused towards supporting the restaurant community in every way possible. As several restaurants evaluate their next course of action to remobilise their operations, we are happy to support #PepsiSaveOurRestaurants initiative along with NRAI towards striving to ensure that restaurant workers and their families don’t stay hungry. With this initiative, we hope to help the restaurant workers with an intent to stabilise their lives in these challenging times.”

Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, CEO & Executive Director of deGustibus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., further added, “While the current pandemic has impacted every sector, it has perhaps manifested itself more sharply on the workforce in the restaurant sector because of the sheer volumes; after all, we are the second-largest employers of human capital in India after agriculture. In light of the magnitude of this problem, the initiative of Pepsi India to help the employees of the sector in distress is highly applaudable. On behalf of NRAI, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Pepsi India and thank them for their beautiful gesture and benevolent contribution. This contribution will help us provide food to families of thousands of marginalised workers in the industry and will further cement our relationship with Pepsi.” 

WCube

The global catastrophe has transformed our lives and the way we intend on carrying our livelihoods forward. As a country, we have been on a rocky ride to the Unlock Phase, giving patience and perseverance a ride for its money. The “new normal” of our lives today is just a facet different from what it was earlier.

WCube Solutions is a B2B buying enablement platform focused on ironing challenges of product quality and customer experience, keeping business sustainability at the core. With a mission to empower manufacturers and give a buyer a standardized experience, WCube aims to redefine the way B2B buying works fusing data analytics and product graphs. The company announced its brand launch with an awareness campaign “Mask Pehen Na Yaar”, focusing on the new normal of our lives with Masks and other personal protection products.

#MaskPehenNaYaar is an initiative taken by WCube Solutions aiming to spread awareness about wearing masks, through this campaign they want to communicate that wearing a mask and doing the basic protection steps in your life is just an addition to the normal way of living and enjoying the moments, we used to pre-COVID. Going out to run some errands, commuting to work, meeting your friends – all these activities are still possible, just with a few minor additions. The first video launched today showcases the normalcy that we are trying to pull back in our lives with just a few precautionary measures that support us and our families. The wise choices of the society and little preaching to help the others also take such measures, can pull down the curve and give us the opportunity to lead a life as it was pre-lockdown.

Talking about this video and inspiration behind it, Karan Chandhok, Akash Mittal and Dhruv Chopra Co-founders of WCube said, “We have all created a new way of living our lives and cherishing those little moments now becomes critical as Unlock. Our lifestyle changes are a preface to the battle of combating COVID-19 and bringing normalcy to our daily chores becomes more and more important. Our intent behind the campaign also has been to make people dance to the tunes of life with a few small additions such as masks, sanitizers, gloves and personal protection measures like social distancing. We are a young brand helping enterprises and trade buy effectively, blending a new colour into the end consumer’s life with our products.

WCube is currently helping enterprises across industry categories with business continuity solutions for healthcare, retail, corporate offices, trade operations, construction units, facility management, and backend offices. The current product offering of a wide variety of products such as masks, sanitisers, PPE kits, washable PPEs, gloves and other sanitisation products. A proprietary manufacturing and quality benchmark framework have helped WCube craft a unique space for them in the business sphere.

This campaign is launched in the public interest to raise awareness and importance of wearing a mask and to show the reality that this might have to continue for longer than expected since such a pandemic hasn’t been seen in a very long time and we are all looking for measures to combat this most effectively.

The upcoming videos will feature the Mask Police, an imaginative character who will encourage everyone to wear masks and keep a check on the ones who do not follow the safety protocol.

Please see our video here

Takeda India

Takeda India, part of the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a global values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader, has donated Rs 1.2 Crore to the PM-CARES Fund to support India’s fight against COVID-19. The contribution aims to support patients and the Government to contain the spread of the disease. Bringing innovative therapies to patients, supporting them through their disease journeys, and playing its part in helping to strengthen healthcare systems is fundamental to Takeda’s operating model, especially in emerging markets like India.

Koki Sato, General Manager, Takeda India, commented: “Takeda remains committed to standing together and supporting our communities in India during this unprecedented health crisis. As a company, we have always aimed to operate in-line with our values – Integrity, Honesty, Perseverance, and Fairness – and will, therefore, never forget that our principal role in society is to serve patients. Together with key authorities and partners, we look to addressing some of the world’s most pressing and unmet health challenges, including COVID-19.”

Takeda India has worked with credible NGO partners in the past to support patients and strengthen front-line caregivers through training programmes as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) mission.

Globally, Takeda works towards preventing disease, training health workers, strengthening supply chains, and improving access to quality diagnosis and treatment. The Company actively partners with world-class organisations and NGOs with proven track records to address global health problems in innovative and enduring ways.

Welspun India Limited

Welspun India Limited, the global home textile major, launches Project Saksham with an aim to connect with the families of Welspun employees residing in Bihar and Jharkhand to reassure them about the wellbeing of the workforce as well as build awareness amongst the local communities around precautionary measures to be taken to fight the spread of COVID-19. In partnership with leading social entrepreneur, Udyan Singh Founder & CEO Banka Silk, Welspun is reaching out to one lakh individuals across 15 districts to distribute masks and relevant informatory material, and to educate them about the initiatives undertaken by the company to ensure the safety of its members.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its unprecedented impact on the lives of individuals has led to uncertainty. This coupled with a lack of awareness in remote areas has caused several families, especially those of workers employed in a different location, to respond out of fear. Taking cognisance of this, Welspun India has launched Project Saksham to reach out to the families of their workforce and the larger communities with an aim to instil confidence in them about the safety of the employees as well as spread awareness about the necessary steps to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The project involves 60-70 volunteers visiting the families door-to-door, showcasing videos about initiatives that Welspun has undertaken to ensure proper hygiene, social distance, sanitisation, usage of masks and appropriate PPEs to protect its employees from the pandemic. Additionally, they will set up kiosks/canopies wherein people will be made aware of the safety precautions to be followed and provide masks to all members of the community. The volunteers will also be recording messages that the family members may want to convey to their dear ones.

Speaking about this initiative, Dipali Goenka, Jt. MD & CEO, Welspun India Limited said, “The uncertainty of these challenging times has resulted in distress amongst families of those employees who reside in a different state. As a responsible organisation, one that prioritises its employees and community, we aim to ease this anxiety with the launch of Project Saksham. Through this initiative, the objective is to reach out to the families of our employees, reassuring them about the safety of their loved ones and educating the local community about the precautionary measures they need to adopt.”

“The health and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance. We have undertaken several measures including the institutionalisation of a robust system across our factories called Penta Protocol, which is a five-layered security framework consisting of social distancing guidelines, workplace practices, thermal scanning, sanitisation and several other strict regulations,” she adds.

Droom

Underlining its commitment towards the wellbeing of Real Heroes of India, Droom allocates Rs. One Crore in CSR for the sanitisation initiative. Droom is extending its Germ-Shield sanitisation coating service to sanitise sensitive surfaces in the police stations and hospitals in each city having Germ Shield Store. Droom will provide Germ Shield coating service to a minimum of one police station and one hospital in each city where the company has Germ Shield Store.

Droom currently has a network of 82 Germ Shield Stores in 26 different cities. The Germ Shield store network would be of 250 in 50+ cities by end of July 2020.

Droom has created India’s first-ever fully technology and AI-driven antimicrobial coating treatment – Germ Shield for any type of surfaces or material. This is India’s most scientific way of protecting any surface from all types of microbes. The material used for coating is approved by EPA of the USA and has been proven effective against most viruses, germs, bacteria, moulds, fungus, and algae including all droplet-based viruses. Germ Shield technology is also ISO – 9001-2015 & ISO-14001-2015 certified.

Germ Shield not only kills 99.9 per cent germs but also inhibits regrowth of microbes for 90-120 days. This is because Germ Shield is a coating and not cleaning. Germ Shield creates an invisible coating with spikes that ruptures the cell membrane of any microorganism. This coating is odourless and leaves no spot. It creates an equally effective coating on all surfaces including porous surfaces such as fabric, leather, etc.. With each Germ Shield coating treatment, a rapid test for contamination level is generated using the Relative Light Unit (RLU) swab test, which is conclusive, objective, and unbiased. For every treatment, Droom issues a 90-day validity certificate and issues post-treatment RLU levels. Droom also offers a 100 per cent money-back guarantee for Germ Shield for 90 days.

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Droom said, “This pandemic has disrupted life as we know it, and the frontline heroes who work outside the safety of their homes are the most vulnerable in this situation. In this fight against the pandemic, our aim is to protect these individuals through our state-of-the-art services. We will continue to extend all possible help to our heroes until the pandemic comes to a close.”

The Germ-Shield technology is quite versatile and can be used not only for vehicles, but also for elevators, ATM, and other facilities such as residential complexes, hospitals, schools, and offices, among others. The treatment can be delivered at Doorstep or fixed location with a national level Germ Shield Store network. The service delivery includes Droom’s ECO App, an AI, IoT, and geo-mapping based technology solution with all sorts of reporting, dashboarding, standard operating procedures, propriety coating process, and quality checks. 

Embassy Services and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)

Embassy Services Pvt. Ltd. (ESPL) in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) launched the first of its kind Drone Disinfection Drive in Worli, Mumbai on June 22. The significant event was launched by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray and the Hon’ble Mayor Kishori Pednekar amongst other dignitaries. This method was used for the disinfection of mosquito breeding grounds and other vector-borne diseases in areas that are usually inaccessible. These drones can fly over 500m high for a period of 12 hours while carrying over 15 litres of disinfectant; they can cover an area of over 50 acres in a single day. This innovation is a much-needed thorough solution for the post-pandemic world.

ESPL through its operational arm, TCFM (Technique Control Facility Management) have yet again contributed to the world through the provision of innovative solutions that ensure us of a safe and healthy environment. With innovation as one of their core values, the team assembled the microbial disinfection kit to have an ability to be hoisted by an industrial drone. Aerial Microbial Disinfection is the terminology of the method used where chemical tanks are hoisted to spray from an aerial view thus covering more space and saving lots of time. The drone can carry anti-larval chemicals to sites usually inaccessible. The tech can also be used to combat the COVID Virus in high-density areas with less accessibility. Over 50 acres can be covered in a day using a single drone. The chemicals used such as Virex II 256, Vecon (Sodium Hypochlorite) Viroff, Pursue, and Lysol solution have proven highly effective against 65 strains of virus from over 19 viral families, 400 strains of bacteria, and over 100 strains of fungi.

“Using technology to elevate the world through integrated facility management has always been one of the key drivers of our organisation’s success. We take pride in leading this initiative in collaboration with BMC and look forward to working on similar initiatives,” said Pradeep Lala, MD & CEO., Embassy Services Private Limited. Such solutions have multiple facets of use and this contributes to the array of efficient solutions needed for the post-pandemic world.

Integrated facility management organisations will be a core function in the future of space management where hygiene and sanitisation are of paramount importance where health and safety will be the most crucial criteria sought after. These organisations will entrust their expertise certainly ensuring a cleaner world and a safer future for all of us.