Strengthening the Fight Against COVID-19

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The pandemic has caused an alarming health crisis across India and the world, with the healthcare infrastructure overwhelmed with critical patients. The need of the hour now is for everyone to stand together and support the communities and ease the pain and suffering arising due to this pandemic. Corporations have been collaborating with the Government at the States and Centre, with NGOs and various social organisations to extend unconditional support to hospitals and frontline workers, police personnel, and the millions who are left with little or nothing at all, to look after themselves. This is also the time when people are mentally and emotionally frayed due to the stress of job loss, pay cut and an uncertain future.

Borosil

In a three-way contribution drive, Borosil Ltd donated 2000 sets of vision glasses and 1000 hydra flasks to patients, quarantine facilities and health workers throughout Maharashtra. Additionally, they have also supplied 500 hydra flasks to KEM and Nair Hospital along with 500 PPE kits to the Mulund West Police Station, which were personally handed to ACP Pandurang Shinde and Senior Inspector Sardesai.

While all our efforts are concentrated on relief, we often neglect those fighting the pandemic on the frontline. Borosil has made an effort to make its products relevant to the situation available to those most in need.

 “These are trying times and we at Borosil have stepped forward to do everything in our capacity to lend support in fighting this pandemic. As conscientious and responsible citizens, we must join hands to help our doctors, police officers and all those on the frontline who are working tirelessly to keep everyone safe. I pray everyone comes out of this stronger, and that our united efforts will put a quick end to this crisis,” said Shreevar Kheruka, MD, Borosil Ltd.

Keeping in mind the functionality and hygiene perspective for usage, Borosil has decided to donate products which are of the best quality. The vision glasses are naturally inert and are easy to sanitise. Made of borosilicate glass, they can withstand temperatures of up to 350-degree centigrade and can be safely used. The hydra flasks can keep water hot or cool for up to 24 hours and are useful to maintain healthy hydration for patients and support staff in the quarantine facilities.

The organization is working towards further product innovation to be able to contribute in a relevant and effective way to the ongoing situation to come together to support the community to fight this pandemic together. 

Tata Chemicals 

Tata Chemicals has been actively supporting the nation in its fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through Tata Chemicals Society of Rural Development (TCSRD) by supplying disinfectants, making masks, ensuring food security and augmenting medical facilities for the local communities. It has manufactured and supplied more than 1.1 million litres of disinfectant to Gujarat and 480,000 Litres to BMC, Maharashtra so far to keep the public places and disease-prone localities safe from the virus.

To meet the increased requirement of hand sanitisers, Tata Chemicals Ltd’s subsidiary – Rallis India – has transformed its chemical units at Akola and Ankleshwar and has produced and supplied 75,300 litres of hand sanitisers across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka.

In line with Tata Group’s initiatives, Tata Chemicals and its units have adopted a two-pronged approach to tackle this unprecedented situation. One intervention focuses on supporting the government and the other one on supporting the local communities.

Through Self Help Groups (SHGs) and artisans associated with the Company’s Okhai initiative, Tata Chemicals has produced about 73,000 masks in Mithapur and Cuddalore which are being distributed to the police, local communities, drivers, security personnel, etc. Through Okhai, the company has also connected SHGs making masks across India and made available 87,000 masks for the open market suppliers. Besides supplying the life-saving masks, this effort has also supported the livelihood of more than 275 women in these times, when there are low economic activities due to the restrictions of people movement.

Alka Talwar, Chief of CSR and Sustainability at Tata Chemicals, said, “Following the Tata Group’s philosophy of putting the community ahead of business, we are extending our full support to the government and the local people. It’s a fight and we are #InItTogether. Tata Chemicals is committed to supporting the society through science-led intervention with a human touch.”

Since the beginning of the national lockdown, Tata Chemicals has been supporting the local communities with food security. So far, Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) has supported over 30,000 people across Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with food packets. The company is also supporting 139 farmers by directly connecting them to households in Mithapur and Dwarka and has sold 17,736 kg of vegetables so far. It is also going to distribute 10,000 seed kits across 42 villages of Gujarat for kitchen gardening.

In Mithapur (Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat), where the Company’s main manufacturing plant is located, Tata Chemicals has augmented the capacity of Mithapur Hospital by setting up temporary additional facilities for COVID-19 patients. In its efforts to make public spaces safer, it has also sprayed disinfectant in Mithapur and 43 nearby villages. It is engaging local communities for increased awareness about the pandemic and safety measures required to deal with this global crisis. Using posters and through video campaigns, the Company volunteers have reached out to more than 40 villages near Mithapur spreading the message of safe behaviour.

RASNA Foundation

Rasna Foundation – the CSR arm of Rasna Group, has pledged to contribute to the society by bringing in a plethora of initiatives for healthcare and the education sector. The organisation has deployed a task force to cater to the urgent and immediate needs such as distributing essentials like food, extending medical care and manufacturing protective gear for healthcare workers and for our on-ground heroes. Till date, Rasna Foundation has distributed food packets to the poor and needy, lakhs of sanitisers and free glasses of Rasna instant powder drink to energise the front-line workers and police force.

Our team with best professional advice has specially developed a sanitiser to fight COVID-19 with Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and other various ingredients. The sanitiser is as per WHO recommendations of being an alcohol-based liquid hand rub and has already been distributed free of cost to the police force and healthcare workers around the city. Further Rasna Group, dedicated to social entrepreneurship has also decided to launch ‘Sani Safe’ hand sanitiser for distribution in regular General Trade (GT) and Modern Trade (MT) markets at a very reasonable cost as suggested by Government of India and here also, a part of the profit made out of the sales to GT & MT would be ploughed back into giving free sanitiser for police personnel and healthcare personnel.

To further strengthen their fight against COVID-19, the Foundation has tied up with India’s most famous hospital to specially set up a COVID-19 facility. This hospital in itself is a centre of excellence in medical innovation having world-class clinical service and cutting-edge technology. This facility would be equipped with best in its class, infrastructure to meet the growing demand of the COVID-19 patients. These treatments will be available for the infected patients as per the government guidelines issued from time to time.

Speaking about the initiatives, Piruz Khambatta, Founder and Trustee Rasna Foundation said, “We have committed ourselves to fight this pandemic with positivity by helping the nation. Our real heroes are the on-ground task force who are working tirelessly providing the essentials to the needy. We aim to continue to give every possible support to the communities and the healthcare workers.  We thank our people, our healthcare workers and security officials who work round the clock to ensure that we continue to stay safe in our homes.”

ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank stands in solidarity with the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan by providing protective equipment to the State Government, hospitals and police forces for their tireless efforts to safeguard citizens of the State in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bank has contributed the following in:

Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Gonda, Unnao, Prayagraj)
PPE kits: Over 1.8 lakh surgical masks
Sanitisers: 8,500 litres
PPE Suits: 850
Bleaching Powder: 1,000 kg
Thermal Scanners: 30+ pieces to the District Administration of Varanasi

Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Dungarpur, Dausa, Nagaur, Chittorgarh and Jhalawar)
PPE kits: 66,000 of three-ply surgical masks
Sanitisers: 5,000 litres
N95 Masks: 8,900
PPE Suits: 900+ numbers.
Thermal Scanners: 70+ pieces to the Municipal Corporations of Udaipur and Kota

Additionally, ICICI RSETI in Udaipur is supporting the district administration by weaving PPE kits and masks. The students at the RSETI centre stitched around 5,000 PPE kits and over 26,000 masks for Udaipur Zilla Parishad.

Speaking on the initiative, Saurabh Singh, Head – Government Banking, ICICI Bank said, “ICICI Group has a legacy of supporting the development of the nation as well as providing support in times of natural calamities and disasters. Taking this legacy forward, we are standing in solidarity with various State governments, police departments and health professionals in their tireless efforts to treat and safeguard citizens of the country in the wake of the pandemic. Our support to the various authorities in UP is part of these activities. The doctors treating the COVID-19 suspects/patients and the police and paramilitary forces managing the orderly implementation of the lockdown are at the frontline of this combat. We have focussed our efforts to reach out to the government hospitals and the forces in the State. Despite supply chain challenges, we are providing them supplies in the form of sanitisers, surgical masks, N95 masks, gloves, personal protection equipment, etc. We are also providing equipment like thermal scanners and non-invasive category ventilators.”

The Bank is also facilitating the Government of Rajasthan for the Chief Minister Relief Fund and Jaipur Development Authority. It also helped Uttar Pradesh in the digital collection of donations for district-level COVID-19 Relief Fund Accounts of Saharanpur, Etawah, Ayodhya and Varanasi. The Bank has also supported Lucknow Nagar Nigam and Lucknow Development Authority by contributing food grains to community kitchens that provide food to the needy people. It has also deployed a mobile ATM van in Varanasi to enable residents, who are advised to stay home, to withdraw cash conveniently and safely. The van was inaugurated by Deepak Agrawal, Divisional Commissioner (IAS), Varanasi.

Hershey India

Hershey India Pvt. Ltd will distribute 1,20,000 fortified beverages and cookies across 20 cities pan India to express their gratitude and support towards the medical staff, police, sanitation workers, migrant labourers and underprivileged children in these tough times. The organisation will be distributing Hershey’s Milk Shake, Sofit Almond Milk, Sofit Soy Milk and Sofit Protein Cookies.  The distributed products are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. The company has associated with India Food Banking Network (IFBN) of the Food Security Foundation India to conduct the distribution. The organisation will also be distributing its products to the medical staff at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhopal and Sion Hospital in Mumbai.

Commenting on the activity Herjit Bhalla, MD, Hershey India, said, “As India and the world continue to battle the pandemic, this is a small gesture of gratitude and support by Hershey India to lift the spirits of all the brave frontline workers and the affected communities. We salute the medical staff and the police who are gallantly serving the society in these critical times and hope that they continue to stay safe.” Highlighting the steps taken by the organisation internally, he further added, “We have also rolled out several programmes to ensure protection and safety for our frontline sales force, contract workmen and depot staff in these challenging times. We have implemented our ‘Hershey Cares’ programme which ensures suitable insurance scheme for all our frontline sales force. Additionally, we have allocated a special fund to cater to the medical needs of our frontline sales force and contract workmen.”

Hershey India and employees have also contributed towards PM-CARES Fund. 

Haier India

As part of its conscious contributions towards the society, Haier India extends support to the government and the State administration in the fight against the global pandemic. Haier India’s team of volunteers is helping quarantine facilities and the poor by supplying necessary amenities to meet the increasing demand on the ground. To provide basic amenities to the frontline workers, doctors and patients, Haier has donated products like refrigerators, televisions and deep freezers to the hospitals dedicated as quarantine isolation wards across 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh and Pune.

Haier also undertook the initiative to provide essential food supplies to the poor who are struggling to survive amid the nationwide lockdown in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra. The company has disbursed 1.1 million meals including essential ration items in districts like Greater Noida, Lucknow, Meerut, Agra, Bareilly, Bulandshahar and Basti, among others.

The company mobilised its team of volunteers to offer help to the underprivileged in some of the worst-hit areas. It has also taken immediate palliative measures to help people in the areas that have lately been identified as COVID-19 hot spots.

Staying true its customers, Haier has also extended the extended warranty on all its products expiring in March and April 2020 to two months after the lockdown is lifted. Haier’s service team is available remotely to help the customers with their service queries through multiple channels including WhatsApp, Live chat support and Haier Careline on toll-free numbers in addition to the demo videos, product user manuals and easy troubleshooting information made available on the brand website.

HCL 

As part of its efforts to strengthen the State’s disaster management efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCL has joined hands with the District Administration of Coimbatore to provide vital protection equipment including masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand sanitisers and hands-free washbasins. This will play an important role in safeguarding the lives of the frontline health workers in the district.

HCL has provided protection equipment including 7,000 PPE kits complying to the SITRA and HLL specifications, 20,000 three-ply masks, 55 litres of sanitiser and two hands-free washbasins to the district administration. These are being routed to the frontline workers of Coimbatore district working in the ESI Hospital, Government Hospital, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, District Health Centres and conservancy workers across the district.

Commenting on the support, K. Rajamani I.A.S. District Collector and District Magistrate, Coimbatore, said, “We are committed to ensuring the well-being of all our citizens and have already taken several steps so that we are prepared to meet all requirements from a healthcare perspective. Our healthcare warriors and other frontline workers are helping us fight this pandemic every day and also saving precious lives. HCL’s support and the protection equipment being provided by them will ensure the safety of our brave hearts. We would like to thank HCL for this critical and timely support.” 

Amazon

Amazon in India has partnered with several NGOs across the country to donate hygiene aid kits, personal protective equipment kits and groceries in support of healthcare workers and communities most affected by COVID-19. These donations are being distributed across Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh through its NGO partners that include United Way, Oxfam India, Concern India, India STEM Foundation, Read India, American India Foundation, Care, Learning Links Foundation, Indian Women and Children Foundation, ASVSS, and Forum for Rural Development. Amazon is working closely with these NGOs and various state departments to identify the requirements from each region in association and ensure that the donations reach the most vulnerable.

Through its partners, Amazon has donated 100,000 N95 masks to hospitals for use by frontline health workers such as doctors and hospital staff, close to 65,000 personal protective equipment kits consisting of safety materials for public health institutions and frontline staff to deal with the acute shortage of protective equipment. In addition, over 40,000 basic hygiene kits that include 3-ply masks, soaps and hand sanitisers have been donated to prevent the spread of the virus in local communities. To ensure that vulnerable families are able to follow social distancing and stay indoors during this difficult time, close to 10,000 basic grocery kits, comprising dry ration materials, have also been distributed. Beneficiaries of these grocery kits include daily wage workers, migrants and micro business owners who face immense difficulties in surviving at this time. 

Minari Shah, Director – Public Relations, Amazon India said, “We firmly stand with communities and the country in our collective effort to curtail the spread and limit the impact of COVID-19. Each State faces its own challenges in protecting its most vulnerable communities, including migrants, healthcare workers and daily wage workers. With the entire country coming together, we hope to overcome this challenge and our contribution is our way of uniting against the pandemic.”

“We are very grateful to Amazon for donating and delivering these critical masks to 30 COVID-19 designated public hospitals across the country. The safety and protection of our healthcare professionals helping COVID-19 patients are of paramount importance and this huge donation is an essential service in keeping them safe. United Way Mumbai is privileged to have assisted with this effort,” said Jayanti Shukla, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Mumbai.

“We are thankful to Amazon for their commitment to controlling the impact of COVID-19. There is a need to identify the people who need help the most, especially those who are struggling to survive at this time. We are relentlessly working with government bodies to identify such people, and with the support of Amazon, we are able to support their basic needs,” said Pankaj Anand, Director of Programme & Humanitarian Response at Oxfam India.

Speaking on the occasion, Geeta Malhotra, Country Director from READ India said, “We are overwhelmed with the commitment shown by Amazon to control the impact of COVID- 19. There is a need to identify the most in need, especially those who are struggling to survive at this time, and we are relentlessly working with government bodies to identify such people. With Amazon’s support, we are able to sustain their basic needs.”

DAN India’s Indeed

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Indeed, the CSR advisory arm of Dentsu Aegis Network has partnered with over twenty organisations across sectors in their endeavour to provide and distribute relief material. With the objective of ensuring the safety of frontliners and the most vulnerable, Indeed distributed 1,00,000 PPE kits, over 100 ventilators, 10,00,000 face masks, 10,000 medical footwear and 5,00,000 biscuit packets in the remotest parts of the country.

Global giants like Vivo, Crocs, Larsen & Toubro, Transworld Group, Citrix Systems, Nutanix, MG Motor and leading homegrown companies like Parle, boAt and Laxmi Organic Industries have been some of the names on Indeed’s client roster. Additionally, the Governments of Karnataka, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, and the Municipal Cooperation of Haryana, have also collaborated with Indeed to make a significant impact in the community during these unprecedented times.

Sahil Arora, AVP and CSR Head, Indeed said, “At Indeed, we believe that to create a real impact, CSR initiatives must be aligned to Corporate values and these initiatives must be put into action at the right time. We are happy to collaborate with organisations that understand the gravity of the current situation and we are taking steps towards mobilising help and ensuring that relief is provided with minimum movement. Indeed stands committed to lending its full support both to our clients and the community in their fight to collectively overcome the global crisis.”

Commenting on Indeed’s admirable effort, Haresh Nayak, President, Posterscope APAC and COO Media Brands, DAN India said, “Indeed has successfully lived by the DAN values of being ‘Responsible’, ‘Collaborative’ and ‘Agile’, as each member of the team, has worked round the clock to provide the necessary support and gear to our essential workers in India with the support of their clients. Indeed’s work has been highly appreciated and I feel very proud.”

During the distribution drive, Indeed has followed strict social distancing norms and has also taken all the precautionary measures. For future initiatives, the team is well equipped with masks, gloves, cover-all and sanitisers.

Piramal Swasthya

Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute, an initiative of Piramal Foundation, in partnership with various State Governments, has managed to address over 2.5 lakh calls related to COVID-19 queries through 104 Health Information Helpline services. The Health Helpline in partnership with the State Governments of Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh attended to these calls during the lockdown period from March 25, 2020, until date. On average, the 104-Health Helpline received around 20,000 calls in a day.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, the helpline has been acting as a channel between the governments and the communities by offering validated medical advice to the callers 24×7 every day of the week. It has undertaken several unique and customised initiatives in collaboration with State Governments to create awareness around COVID-19 cases. State Governments of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have announced the 104 helpline as the one-stop solution for all COVID-19 queries and grievances.

In order to deal with an increased number of calls, the frontline staff team has been significantly expanded as per State requirement. Currently, over 1200 staff across various centres that include paramedics, counsellors and doctors, are relentlessly attending to calls related to health advice, counselling, information sharing and reporting of COVID-19.

Paresh Parasnis, CEO, Piramal Foundation said, “At Piramal Swasthya, we stay resolute in our efforts to support the Central and State Governments to address the COVID-19 pandemic, even in the remotest part of the country. The 104 health helpline has proved to be a simple, yet effective tool to share validated information as per the guidelines of WHO and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, especially for people who are not technology-savvy or live in areas where access to media is challenging.  This initiative has helped in creating awareness, thus bringing down the anxiety and fear in the society caused by the pandemic.”