Mumbai: India’s leading digital financial services platform Paytm announced that Paytm Foundation that aims to support citizens in their hour of need will acquire and import over 3,000 Oxygen Concentrators (OCs) to fight COVID-19 and the ongoing oxygen shortage in the country. It has launched a nationwide ‘Oxygen for India’ initiative to create more awareness about the issue. While Paytm Foundation has already placed an order for importing 1,000 Oxygen Concentrators worth Rs 4 Crores, it is aiming to further raise over Rs 10 Crores. The company is encouraging citizens to join the cause by pledging to match every rupee contribution by users. It has raised over Rs 1.5 crore within hours of starting the campaign, and with Paytm’s contribution of matching the amount, the total amount raised by Paytm Foundation has reached over Rs 3 Crores.
The country is going through an unprecedented oxygen crisis and needs all kinds of oxygen support including large oxygen tankers, oxygen cylinders as well as Oxygen Concentrators that can produce oxygen locally. Realising that the country does not have an adequate supply of OCs, the Foundation decided to swing into action and search globally for these devices. With aim of saving a maximum number of lives, the foundation is working on tie-ups with sourcing partners to import over 30,000 OCs to India in due course.
Paytm has started this initiative and will bring in OCs from abroad at war footing. It is also reaching out to like-minded startups to join in the initiative and place orders for OCs along with the Foundation to bulk up orders. The company hopes that people will contribute wholeheartedly, which it will match rupee for rupee and raise over Rs. 10 Crores in a short period of time.
The company will collect demand requests from hospitals for oxygen concentrators on the Paytm app itself. It will give first preference to government hospitals, then private, smaller clinics, and finally Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs). The list will be available to the public view to maintain maximum transparency and accountability. The service will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis or need-based in case of emergency. Hospitals will have to furnish details of requirements, address, as well as the name of the coordinator.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm said, “India is going through an unprecedented oxygen crisis right now and there are all kinds of oxygen support needed, large oxygen tankers, oxygen cylinders and then something that can produce oxygen locally which is oxygen concentrators. I also call upon other startups, businesses to join us and match rupee to rupee contribution to double the supply of oxygen concentrators. It will be a great support for India in the present oxygen crisis. I am sure by pooling in our resources we will be able to fight this crisis and come out stronger.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Paytm has taken several initiatives to support India’s fight against the spread of COVID-19. Last year, it raised hundreds of crores for the PM-CARES Fund with support from citizens and also distributed over 10 million hygiene kits to frontline workers and COVID warriors. It fed over 20 million meals to migrant workers going back home to their loved ones. It also worked dedicatedly to revamp the Paytm app UI with a ‘Stay at Home Essential Payments’ section to include Mobile & DTH Recharge, electricity, water, gas, credit card and insurance premium payment among others.