The severity of the pandemic is affecting the country as never before. The nation is under the world’s biggest lockdown so that the pandemic can be contained. Efforts by the government as well as civil society to extend all help and relief to hospitals, medical workers, the police, sanitation workers, the poor, the homeless, stranded migrant workers, and the general public is indeed commendable. But the task is still a great one. We cannot be complacent in our fight against this deadly virus. Let us win this battle by being responsible citizens, donate and contribute, support and encourage the health workers and the police personnel, who, day in and out, have been the real heroes in this crisis, holding the entire ecosystem together through their dedication.
We dedicate this report to some of the innumerable organisations who have been doing their part in providing relief and hope during this challenging time.
Burger King India & Delhi Police
Burger King India partnered with Delhi Police to distribute burgers to children in orphanages and community clusters amidst the current COVID-19 crisis. The Don Bosco Ashalayam and Auxilium Snehalya in Palam Village and Asha Grah Children Home for Boys and Girls in Dwarka were served with burgers as midday snacks. Further, kids of JJ clusters in the area of Vikas Puri, GTB Enclave, Madhu Vihar, R.K Puram and Kalkaji were also served burgers. As part of this partnership, Burger King distributed 5000 burgers.
Burger King India’s ‘Crown Standard Delivery’ ensures safe delivery of food from the kitchen to the communities. The staff delivering the meals wears protective gears like masks and gloves to ensure safety. Since the outbreak, Burger King has further strengthened its robust restaurant procedures around food safety, cleanliness and hygiene and increased its sanitisation frequency in all restaurants across the country.
Srinivas Adapa, CMO Burger King said: “We work closely with police officers in our communities on a regular basis and in these unprecedented times, we would like to salute them for their selfless service to the nation. We are honoured to partner with the Delhi Police to provide safe and hygienic food to children in this hour of need.”
The Delhi Police also appreciated the brand gesture and were happy to partner with this initiative which brought a smile on the faces of young kids.
ACT Fibernet, one of India’s largest wired ISPs (Internet Service Provider), took yet another step towards aiding the Karnataka government and contributing to their tireless endeavours in overcoming the pandemic. As a means to safeguard all the health staff and workers of the BBMP who have been fighting first from their line of work to counter the disease, ACT Fibernet has donated one lakh masks to support and stand with them in solidarity. The masks were personally handed over by Bala Malladi, CEO, ACT Fibernet, to Gautam Jain, Mayor of Bengaluru, Mohan Raju, Dy. Mayor, Manjunath Raju, Chairman, BBMP Standing Committee for Health, and Abdul Wajid, Leader, Opposition Party at the BBMP Council.
The Mayor thanked the company and said, “ACT Fibernet is the leading Internet company of Bangalore and it’s really nice that they have come forward to give one lakh masks to BBMP which would be used by the health employees of BBMP. This is the largest contribution of masks by a single organisation. When they could have done on their own, they found it more responsible to join hands with BBMP. I thank their CEO, Mr Malladi for this wonderful gesture.” Further on, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar thanked ACT Fibernet for their helpful initiative as it has set an example for other Corporates.
“We are witnessing unprecedented times where people from all walks of life have to come together and brace themselves to face the situation and protect oneself and the greater society as a whole. We commend the work done by the Government in ensuring that the city is sanitised and the disease does not affect people further. ACT Fibernet is honoured to contribute towards this cause and help in countering the spread of novel coronavirus. We stand with the people of Karnataka and will be supporting the government continually through our growing strength and efforts in eradicating this virus and enabling people to stay safe, secure and protected,” said Bala Malladi.
More than a dozen qualified doctors employed with technology major Cognizant in Mumbai have volunteered to be a part of a special telephonic helpline set up by the Indian Medical Association to address citizen questions on COVID-19.
Cognizant has over 2,700 medical professionals worldwide, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists who provide critical services such as pharmacovigilance, clinical data management, medical management and claims management, among others, to healthcare and life sciences organisations globally.
The COVID-19 helpline was set up by a group of physicians led by renowned Mumbai-based Consulting Physician, Dr Tushar Shah to contain fear, panic and speculation by providing people with relevant, non-prescriptive information. The Cognizant’s doctor volunteers took a two-week virtual training from Dr Shah on various aspects of running a helpline, such as gathering information from callers, reading symptoms, and responding to various types of questions.
“Responding to the COVID-19 crisis has put frontline healthcare personnel under severe strain,” said Dr Tushar Shah. “Our helpline is an attempt to ease the pressure on hospitals and doctors, enable those in need to get treatment on priority, and equip citizens with useful and accurate medical information. I am pleased that Cognizant’s employees have volunteered to apply their medical skills to the larger ongoing efforts to deal with the crisis. Their participation has expanded our reach across marginalized communities and areas with limited access to medical expertise.”
“We are privileged to be a part of an important helpline in times of a pandemic,” said Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Chairman and Managing Director, Cognizant India. “Most questions to date have been about likely symptoms, self-isolation, diet, hygiene and testing of COVID-19. Through the helpline, Cognizant volunteers have been able to provide non-prescriptive advice to marginalised and underserved communities as well. We are deeply appreciative of the untiring efforts that Dr Tushar Shah and all experts associated with this helpline are putting in to empower the citizens of Mumbai to take on the challenge and threat of COVID-19.”
Popcorn Furniture organised a webinar on combating anxiety and fear amid the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents, children and adults. The online seminar was part of the company’s month-long campaign to spread awareness about mental wellbeing. The session was hosted by Deepika Goyal, Founder and Director, Popcorn Furniture, and Dr Ranjan Ghosh, Good Karma Clinic. Dr Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Principal, Springdales School, was the moderator.
Students, principals and faculties of different schools from all over the nation like Springdales School, (Delhi), Springdales School, (Jaipur), DPS (Bhagalpur), Sunbeam School (Varanasi) and Ramjas School (Delhi) participated in the session. There were around 600 registrations and 300 participants including students, principals, parents and faculties. The one-hour webinar was followed by an interactive session.
Deepika Goyal, Founder and Director, Popcorn Furniture, said, “Popcorn Furniture is India’s largest school furniture provider and we have over five million students who have been our happy customers. We wanted to serve our customers – children and their parents – in this crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to high anxiety levels and fear in the minds of adults as well as children. Each person has a different coping mechanism in stressful situations. Some people are more impacted than others. So, we at Popcorn Furniture built a campaign to help parents and children. We partnered with Dr Ranjan Ghosh of the Good Karma clinic, who is an experienced adult and child psychiatrist from America. The campaign has been running for about three weeks with tips about the 5 W’s of wellness. We have had contests, articles and advice on how to combat fear and anxiety in this difficult time to ensure the mental well-being of kids.”
Dr Ranjan Ghosh, MD Psychiatrist, Good Karma, said, “We are in an unprecedented time in history with regard to school and education. I have spent the better half of my career fighting for inclusion for all in education and not homeschooling; this considering the social-emotional well-being of children. Now we must adapt and teach this to teachers who will be giving lessons online and to parents at home.”
Dr Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Principal, Springdales School, said, “Feelings of self-doubt, stress and uncertainty, have overwhelmed adolescents, parents, young and old. Schools and colleges are shut, our places of worship have been closed, and comforting social gatherings, festivals, movie halls, restaurants, family get-togethers, that filled our lives in the weekends and holidays have been declared off-limits.”
Sleepwell, India’s leading mattress brand from Sheela Foam Ltd., has lent aid to the Indian healthcare sector in its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring timely supply of mattresses and foam sheets across the country. India is currently facing an acute shortage of beds to treat COVID-19 patients. In order to support the nation, Sleepwell has provided close to 10,000 mattresses and foam sheets to healthcare institutions and quarantine centres. A report by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) had earlier this month revealed that even if 5 per cent of Indians are affected, there will be a requirement of four-five times the present count of hospital beds in the country.
Sleepwell supplied not only mattresses but also foam sheets for high-quality face shield masks for doctors and paramedical staff. Amidst the lockdown, Sleepwell’s state-of-the-art production facilities in Greater Noida, Sahibabad, Talwada, Jalpaiguri and Erode were operational at optimum capacity to cater to COVID-19 led demands. Materials were sent to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Delhi – including the Quarantine Centre at AIIMS. Additionally, Sleepwell also extended a helping hand to the Himachal Government and donated 150 mattresses for hospitals in the region.
Commenting on the initiative, Rahul Gautam, Managing Director, Sheela Foam Ltd. said, “At Sleepwell, we have always envisioned our commitment towards society as one of our core values. It, therefore, gives us immense pride to offer support to the healthcare industry, in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. The expertise undertaken during the manufacture is greatly surveilled so that hygienic mattresses can be supplied to the states that are in the most need of healthcare and quarantine beds.”
Sleepwell is committed to ensuring that every COVID-19 patient has a safe and hygienic bed available where they can receive care and heal. Stringent precautions were adhered to which included regular thermal checks, sanitisation at entry and exit points, mandatory face masks, strict 1.5 meters of social distancing by all company employees, contractual workers, vendors, security staff, transporters, visitors, drivers and their helpers. A mandatory sanitisation of activity areas was regularly followed before and after operational activities.
Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India
As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to create unprecedented crisis across the globe, healthcare facilities are facing tremendous challenges to control the growing number of cases in India. To support the fight against novel coronavirus, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) is sourcing and providing, in batches, up to 25,000 Real-Time PCR testing kits to National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.
The premier medical institution has been conducting free-testing for suspected COVID-19 patients in the city. To assist them in this endeavour, MBRDI has sourced the Real-Time PCR testing Kits from ICMR approved suppliers and will be delivering them to NIMHANS in a phased manner. These kits will also be provided to other ICMR approved testing centres across Karnataka through NIMHANS.
Manu Saale, Managing Director & CEO, MBRDI stated, “These are challenging times and we are committed to helping the community at large to defeat this adversity. We have procured these kits to support testing a larger number of suspected cases and assist the healthcare fraternity/professionals in flattening the curve. We stand united with the nation in the fight against this pandemic.”
In addition to this, the R&D centre has initiated a monetary donation drive to encourage employees to contribute towards the PM CARES Fund and NGOs to support the underprivileged and people with disabilities in need of assistance.
The country is seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across multiple States which have led to more number of patients occupying hospital beds daily. This has led the government to identify a number of properties that are being transformed into satellite hospitals (smaller centres) to treat suspected COVID-19 patients. It has become a priority for all these centres and hospitals to procure the necessary material required to ensure they are fully prepared to fight this pandemic. Duroflex has responded to these urgent requirements and has provided 1273 mattresses to these centres across the country.
Duroflex has donated 300 mattresses to the quarantine centre at Tata Housing Project and 600 to the District Industrial Centre (DIC), Krishnagiri. The company has also provided 273 mattresses to CMC Vellore, a teaching hospital in Tamil Nadu. Mattresses are an essential commodity for all hospitals and quarantine centres during this time. Duroflex Mattresses aims to ensure that hospitals and centres like CMC Vellore, Tata Housing Project and others across the country are equipped to deal with the current situation.
Speaking on their endeavour, Smita Murarka, Vice President, Duroflex Mattresses said, “We are positive that India will overcome the coronavirus predicament together. Duroflex mattresses are with the country during this difficult time and we will do everything we can to help in the fight against COVID-19.”
Commenting on the Duroflex’s initiative, Dr J.V. Peter, Director, CMC Vellore says, “It became critical for us to be prepared and procure the necessary materials to fight this pandemic as we had to be prepared in case there is a sudden rise in the number of patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. We would like to thank Duroflex for standing by us and fulfilling our need for mattresses in such a short time and showing compassion and care towards those affected by this pandemic.”
Duroflex has also partnered with a tech start-up, Dozee to offer free health monitor devices to quarantined individuals in Bangalore to help them keep a track of their respiratory health. Dozee is a contact-free health monitor that tracks sleep quality, respiratory health, cardiac health and stress recovery with medical-grade 98.4 per cent accuracy. With this device, Duroflex hopes to help consumers keep track of their health while at home.
In a move aimed at supporting frontline healthcare workers and doctors during Covid19 times, Vedanta Limited, one of the world’s leading Oil & Gas and Metals company has enabled mass production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in Gurugram. The Company has imported 23 PPE machines recently in collaboration with the Ministry of Textiles and has teamed up with authorised apparel manufacturers to roll out over 5000 PPEs per day.
PPEs are critical for healthcare workers and India, like most other countries, is working overtime to procure PPEs for the safety of its health workers. Vedanta has so far produced around 15,000 PPEs. The company has also provided more than 3.5 lakh masks through its Business Units to the local communities and has handed over another two lakh N95 masks to the Ministry of Health.
According to Ravi Capoor, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Textiles, “The Union Textiles ministry is grateful to Vedanta Group for extending help by providing the much-needed machinery for manufacturing PPEs to AEPC, This is a must-gear for our frontline health professionals today. We look forward to the continued support from Vedanta in the days ahead,”
Vedanta Chairman, Anil Agarwal said: “India has shown tremendous resilience in fighting the impact of Covid-19. We have earned goodwill from the world for supplying critical medicines to many countries. I am confident that we will rise above this setback. We are working towards creating a New India and will help create a self-reliant economy as the lockdown lifts in a calibrated manner.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly said that self-sufficiency is the biggest lesson we have learnt from COVID-19. A small village in a local country, our basic needs have to be met locally. Vedanta will be the catalyst for the change,” he added.
As part of a strategy to support the local community, Vedanta is now focusing on innovative solutions to support the poor and the marginalized sections. The company has spent Rs 151 crore on its Covid-19 initiatives till now and has reached out to more than seven lakh community members across seven States in the past month.
Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta group company, has started an innovative movement – Grain Bank – wherein SAKHI SHG women collect grains and pulses at the village level so as to reach out to the daily wage earners. More than 8,000 kilograms of food grains have been procured under this plan, which is now being adopted by other Vedanta Business Units as well.
Vedanta Lanjigarh is offering Telemedicine facility to the local community in the region, helping patients connect with doctors for free consultations. A team of specialist doctors, including Pediatricians, Orthopedicians, General Physicians, and Ayush doctors attend to the sick people over phone and WhatsApp every day and medicines can be collected by the from Vedanta Hospital pharmacy free of cost.
Vedanta has also joined hands with Apollo Hospitals in offering a 24×7 general helpline for its employees to ensure timely healthcare advice during the lockdown. Their families can also avail of the helpline services.
Vedanta Iron Ore
Vedanta Iron Ore at Karnataka, contributed Rs One Crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund COVID-19, Government of Karnataka, to combat the widespread outbreak of the deadly pandemic.
In line with Vedanta philosophy of care and community welfare, Vedanta Iron Ore Business has also been working in close coordination with the Office of District Administration of Chitradurga, Goa, Jharkhand and Vizag to help them in providing necessary infrastructure and provisioning of protective equipment across COVID- 19 medical facilities in the State.
Sauvick Mazumdar, CEO, Vedanta Iron Ore Business said, “We, at Vedanta, have always believed in giving back to the society and the nation. Today, when COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for the state of Karnataka, the contribution of Rs One Crore towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund COVID-19 is a step forward to combat the coronavirus. Humanity and supporting the masses is the need of the hour in these trying times, we will succeed in fighting this pandemic.”
Krishna Reddy, Director – Vedanta Iron Ore Business, Karnataka said, “We are together in the current contagion situation and I am hopeful that through our collective efforts, we will succeed in fighting this dreaded virus. I would also request citizens of Karnataka to stay safe and act responsibly.”
The Company has initiated several on-ground support activities to overcome this difficult situation. Recently, with the objective to ensure the protection of those who protect us by jeopardising their lives and leading from the front during emergencies, It has provided 250 PPE kits and 5,000 hand gloves to the Chitradurga District Police, 100 masks along with sanitizer bottles to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) – Chitradurga and 150 cotton masks to the Department of Mines & Geology (DMG) Chitradurga District. Fumigation services were provided to police stations across the District, DMG and Chitradurga Forest Office.
Vedanta Iron Ore at Karnataka has handed over 10 ICU cots and 10 Multi- Para Monitor to the District Administration set to be installed at the COVID-19 Relief District Hospital along with 500 sanitiser bottles, 2500 triple-layer N95 masks, 500 personal protection kits and an ambulance for emergency medical facilities. The company has also handed over 3400 ration kits to the District Administration Office to help them be well prepared in the current situation. It also distributed 2600 three-layered cloth masks to police officers, health workers and the community people across Chitradurga district handmade by local SHG women over the course of two weeks.
PAYBACK India, the country’s largest multi-brand loyalty programme, recently launched a campaign – Save more than just money with Points under #PAYBACKToSociety drive for its over 100 million members. Under this initiative, PAYBACK is encouraging members to make use of accumulated PAYBACK loyalty points by voluntarily donating as much as they can to save lives and help families or individuals in financial stress or need personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves, sanitisers et al to fight the virus.
For this initiative, PAYBACK India has partnered with TATA Trust and World Vision, where members can voluntarily donate a minimum 1000 points to up to 20,000 points, which will be used to provide personal protective equipment, ration for families, food supplements or any essential items for needy individuals and families.
PAYBACK India has been running its #PAYBACKToSociety digital campaign since the lockdown began as its effort to help the government by continuous engagement with members in spreading awareness on the health pandemic, innovative ways to fight it by practising social distancing and how to make staying safe at homes or premises an enjoyable period. For the same, it has been running various engagement activities on its social media platforms, with the latest being where members must share their innovative ways to promote social distancing, enjoy work from home or staying safe at home and helping their societies. The lucky members get to win signed merchandise from ace cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
Jubilant Bhartia Group
Jubilant Foodworks Limited and Jubilant Life Sciences Limited of the Jubilant Bhartia Group has contributed Rs 10 Crores to PM-CARES Fund to support Government of India’s initiatives in mitigating the COVID-19 crisis.
The Jubilant Bhartia Group companies have taken several measures at the grassroots level in the areas of health & safety, food & ration distribution, sanitisation, communication, medical & medicine, distribution of PPEs and support to the administration across various locations.
Sanitisers manufactured by Jubilant Life Sciences Limited are distributed within the community to healthcare workers and the Government at both Central and State level. Food and medicine distribution (ready to eat food packets and dry ration) is also being undertaken to vulnerable community members like migrant labourers, pregnant women, senior citizens, children at various places in the country. JBF is also facilitating the stitching of reusable cotton masks at various sites in the country through Self Help Groups (SHGs). These masks are washable and reusable, and the Foundation has been providing the raw material for them.
Additionally, Jubilant FoodWorks Limited has been providing PPE kits and food distribution for the impacted citizens and police staff. It has also leveraged its Domino’s delivery team and supply chain network for distribution of essential commodities like flour, milk, etc. to help citizens get their daily needs in the safety of their homes.
Home Credit India
Home Credit India (HCIN), a local arm of the international consumer finance provider with operations spanning over Europe and Asia, has extended its full support by partnering with Don Bosco Society to provide dry ration to feed over 20,000 people in Gurugram. The relief effort is aimed at reaching out to vulnerable communities like stranded labourers, migrant workers and homeless people who are most harshly impacted by the pandemic.
Each dry ration kit per family contains food items like 5kg Rice, 5 kg wheat flour/atta, 2 kg dal, 1 kg sugar, 1-litre mustard oil, 1 kg salt and three bars of soap. The national lockdown has been unfavourable to millions of people, particularly the daily wagers. Given the magnitude of the health crisis, Home Credit endeavours to support the community and the authorities in every possible way. Social distancing, a key step in controlling the spread of the virus, will be strictly followed by the distribution team. The team will also be wearing masks during the drive.
Ondrej Kubik, CEO, Home Credit India said; “We all stand as one, this is the time to stand together. Our heart goes out to those suffering the most, we at Home Credit stand committed to support the community during the pandemic and have therefore collaborated with Don Bosco Society to reach out to the vulnerable sections of the society by offering assistance in the form of dry ration to ease their burden. As a humanitarian gesture, we hope that we can contribute to the nation in some way or another. Until then, we’ll continue our efforts to serve the society and be able to overcome this unprecedented period.”
Don Bosco Society is providing aid and assistance by reaching out to various sections of the society spread across the country daily. The society has been empanelled with the government and mobilising relief measures across the country. These beneficiaries include migrant workers, slum dwellers, rickshaw pullers, daily wage workers etc.
Continuing its efforts to provide relief to the various state governments, Heartfulness Institute donated Rs 1.5 Crore to the CM Relief Fund of Telangana. Over the past few weeks, it has been providing food every day in Ranga Reddy District in conjunction with the Commissionerate of Cyberabad Police in Telangana, food packets for thousands across different centres in India and distributed thousands of masks and hand sanitisers to those who need it. Over a million meals and rations have been served all over India from the kitchens of the Heartfulness Centres.
Vamsi Challagulla, Joint Secretary and Director Operations, Heartfulness Institute and Dr Sharat Head of Medical Services of the Institute today met the Chief Minister and personally handed over the cheque on behalf of Kamlesh D Patel, affectionately called as Daaji, Guide of Heartfulness, towards the CM Relief Fund.
Commenting on the relief extended to governments as support in managing the crisis, Daaji, Guide of Heartfulness said, “Our mission has been helping humanity by way of offering relaxation and meditation as a medium of upliftment for free to one and all. Daily virtual group meditations as well as through via a free app called HeartsApp are offered to people to help cope with emotional and mental challenges posed by the situation. A telephonic helpline ‘Voice that Cares’, was also launched to provide counselling support to people. Over the past month, Heartfulness volunteers are supporting various governments and public by selflessly serving them in the true ethos of service with a heart which symbolises the Heartfulness Movement.”
‘Voice that Cares’ can be accessed via toll-free number 1800-121-3492 (DHYANA).
Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited
Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd. (BFIL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of IndusInd Bank, has contributed Rs One Crore to the PM-CARES Fund. Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India received the cheque from BFIL representatives at the North Block office in New Delhi. He appreciated the company for coming forward and strengthening the fight against COVID-19.
In addition to this contribution, BFIL has been tirelessly working to help State governments in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka to get access to essential medical equipment like testing kits, PPEs, and other sanitation requirements and also train frontline health workers to protect themselves against the virus.
M R Rao, MD & CEO, BFIL said, “We are witnessing an unprecedented crisis and the entire BFIL family stands in solidarity with the nation. With this contribution to PM-CARES Fund and many other initiatives at the grassroots level, we are providing all possible relief to needy people in villages and small towns across India.”
IndusInd Bank has deployed a mobile ATM in Ahmedabad to bring key banking services to the doorstep of residents in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The Bank is working closely with the local government authorities on the daily route that the mobile ATM will take to ensure the availability of cash. The mobile ATM will be operational across localities, making 3-5 stops in a day between 9 am to 6 pm.
The mobile ATM offers all the services that are available at regular ATMs. Apart from cash withdrawals, key services that can be availed by customers are – ‘Choice Money’ denomination, transferring funds to the registered payee, change of PIN, recharge pre-paid mobile, book fixed deposits, among others.
All necessary precautions in terms of maintaining social distancing while queuing for the ATM and sanitisation are being taken to ensure the safety of the staff as well as customers at the Mobile ATM.