Rising to the Challenge in India


There are various ways by which we can stop the crisis we are facing at the moment to be an even bigger catastrophe. As overwhelming as this is for everyone, the glimmer of hope is the responses various organisations and groups have been humbling. We dedicate this section to them.  

Ben Franklin Provides Safety Glasses to Doctors and Healthcare Workers
As doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and professionals address this global pandemic, they are facing an unprecedented challenge in saving people’s lives and, adding an extra layer of safety to protect their own lives. According to the World Health Organisation, along with the nose and mouth, the eyes play a big role in the spread of the coronavirus. For example, COVID-19 can be transmitted when a healthcare worker has contact with a contaminated surface and then touches their face again inadvertently, or any organic matter while treating a patient falls on them. Therefore, along with a mask to cover their nose and mouth, protective eyewear, goggles, or a face shield has been highly recommended by WHO and should be made mandatory for those on the front lines, who seem to have the highest levels of risk of exposure to the virus. 

To prevent the spread of COVID -19, Ben Franklin, India’s largest Clinic based optical retailer is contributing 20,000 safety glasses to doctors and healthcare community workers across India as a small step, in helping to protect themselves from exposure through eyes.   

Chqbook.com Joins Launches COVID-19 Self Checker
COVID-19 cases have been rising exponentially around the world and in India. In our fight against this virus, one important weapon is our ability to do a self–assessment for symptoms in the comfort of our home. Chqbook.com, a new age Fintech Startup backed by Harsha Bhogle and Aavishkar Capital, partnered with DayToDay Health to launch the ‘COVID–19 (Coronavirus) Self Checker’ – an online self–assessment tool. 

The tool developed based on guidelines from the WHO, MOHFW, AIIMS-New Delhi and others, helps people navigate on what they need to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19 – all under a minute. COVID-19 Self Checker is a self-assessment so that one can take action as per the result. The tool collects information and builds the user’s risk profile based on age, travel history, symptoms and possible contact with patients who have tested positive. This information is collected through a series of questions once the user starts the test. The tool does not collect any personal information like name, contact number or email. 

You can try the self-assessment by visiting https://bit.ly/2UIoYHT

At the end of the assessment, the tool generates a report that determines if the user should self-isolate or seek medical help. The self-assessment tool has already been used by more than 30k users in just four days from its launch on April 5, 2020. 

Speaking about this awareness initiative, Mohit Goel, Co-Founder – Chqbook.com said, “The Government of India is on a mission to have a Corona-free India. At present, the rising number of cases in the country and insufficient testing facilities are a cause of concern. Increase in awareness will play a big role in containing the spread of COVID-19. With an aim at increasing awareness, we are popularising the COVID-19 Self-Checker in partnership with DaytoDay.health. The tool has been put together by experts and allows everyone to undergo a self-assessment without having to step out of their homes during this period of lockdown. On behalf of Chqbook, I would also like to appeal to our citizens to stay informed, abide by the government directives and take the necessary measures to stay healthy.”

Speaking on the launch, Dr P. S. Vishnu Vardhan, COO, DayToDay.Health said, “COVID-19 Self Checker is not a diagnostic tool but it will surely help to reassure the people if they are low risk when they should seek medical help and also guides on where to seek help as per their specific location. The present strain of the virus called novel coronavirus (COVID-19) also causes flu-like illness like many other viruses. But there is a difference in how these symptoms pan out. Hence, the importance of identifying specific symptoms related to COVID-19 to differentiate from common flu-like symptoms. In societies, the guidelines on risk assessment and symptoms are evolving. Loss of smell and diarrhoea are new symptoms which have been added to the guidelines. Our risk assessment tool is dynamic and will Incorporate the latest guidelines available. 

In addition to the COVID-19 Self Checker, Chqbook is also offering free online doctor consultation, and discounts on medicine through partner tie-ups on its mobile app. 

AkzoNobel India
During the nationwide 21-day lockdown in India which began in March, AkzoNobel India launched several initiatives to help communities cope with food and healthcare challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Many of these are adaptations of existing projects launched as part of the company’s People. Planet. Paint. initiative – their focus was recently changed in response to the virus situation.

 For example, in several villages near Bangalore, an existing e-health programme which we helped to set up is now being used to provide initial screening for the coronavirus. Around 1,000 people had received symptomatic screening by early April. 

We have also provided essential food items to 6,000 people who are mostly daily wage earners in Gurgaon, Gwalior and Navi Mumbai, including underprivileged children studying at AkzoNobel, supported education centres. 

Commenting on the company’s ongoing community efforts, Rajiv Rajgopal, Managing Director of AkzoNobel India, says: “We are actively continuing to look after the communities around the sites where we operate by facilitating their healthcare and food requirements in these difficult times. Many colleagues are also keen to volunteer for our community initiatives, so we are evaluating how best to engage them without putting them at any health risk.”

ProDot, the only cartridge manufacturer in India today announced that it has contributed Rs. One Million towards the PM-CARES Fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic across the country. ProDot, trademark name under Datalink Industrial Corporation, is the only ‘Make in India’ company that manufactures compatible laser toner cartridges and computer accessories like mouse, keyboards etc. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on March 28, 2020, by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. The fund will be used for combatting, containment and relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic-like situations in the future. In India, approx. 5274 people have been affected by the coronavirus out of these have been confirmed out of these 411 people have been recovered and 149 people have died. In the world, 15,11,104 people have been affected by the virus, out of these 3,28,661 people have recovered and 88,338 people have died. 

According to Pramod Rajpal, CEO and Founder, Datalink Industrial Corporation, “We tried to do our bit by contributing towards the PM CARES Fund. The tough and long battle against Coronavirus can’t be won without the participation of every citizen, therefore, urging and motivating all to contribute anything to something. We wish to motivate others to do their bit.

Amplus Helps Local Villagers in Mirzapur
The global pandemic has severely shaken the world and has had catastrophic effects on the livelihood of millions across the globe. It would not be wrong to say that in the case of India, the maximum brunt of the unprecedented scenario is being faced by the poor labourers and daily wage workers. Amidst these dark times when life, as we know it has come to a slow-down, citizens and Corporates, are uniting to provide rays of hope which can better the situation of the people in dire circumstances. 

Amplus Solar is one such organisation that came forward for the community of Gurudev Nagar village in Mirzapur district when the situations worsened for the people due to the inability to commute to procure common essentials. The village is situated in a remote area harbouring around 350 people. Amplus reached out to these families in need by providing them ration. The distribution was carried out in association with the District Magistrate and with the help of the local police. 

The village is in the vicinity of Uttar Pradesh’ first Open Access Solar park of 75 MWp owned by Amplus. This was in continuation of Amplus’ efforts to contribute to the local community and not just provide green energy through setting up and operation of Solar park. 

To help fight the current coronavirus pandemic in India, speciality chemicals company LANXESS today donated INR 20 million to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) as part of its CSR initiative. 

The company has adopted a multi-pronged approach to support the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. The comprehensive support includes product donation (Rely+On™ Virkon™) and essential supplies donation, besides the financial support to the PM-Cares fund. 

LANXESS India has pledged an additional INR 3 million of donation of material such as face masks, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, liquid soaps, groceries, etc. in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, around the areas in which its sites operate. Based on the local requirements, the material will be procured locally at each location and will be handed over to the respective Municipal Corporations and Government agencies. 

LANXESS India had recently donated its highly effective surface disinfectant Rely+On™ Virkon™ to Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to reduce cross-contamination of COVID-19 in civic hospitals and other establishments. 

Commenting on the contributions, Neelanjan Banerjee, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, LANXESS India said, “The coronavirus continues to cause new fatalities every day across the globe. We hope that our contribution to the PM CARES Fund and material donation will support the government in fighting the disease and help communities get immediate relief from COVID-19. We believe that the current crisis needs our undivided support and are doing our best to help the Government in its efforts.” 

As the coronavirus outbreak drives daily-wage earners out of employment, InCred has launched #InCredForHumanity campaign to support their cause. The campaign is launched in association with NGO Goonj and The Art of Living Foundation and will support the daily wage earners with essential food supplies. 

As part of the campaign, InCred has initiated a donation drive across various social media platforms. It is appealing to everyone – including employees, existing customers, and partners – to support the cause with their financial contributions. All proceeds will be collected by Goonj and be used to deliver comprehensive family kits of essentials (such as dry ration, personal care material, etc.) to more than a million people. The respective donors can also avail a 50% tax deduction under Section 80G of the IT Act. 

Kamlesh Dangi, Group Head – Human Resources, InCred said, “The global economy is going through trying times at present. We all must come forward and join our hands to support those who need it the most right now. The #InCredForHumanity campaign has been launched solely for this purpose. It will encompass the targeted delivery of essential aid via Goonj. We ask you to donate as generously as you can and prevent people from falling prey to destitution.” 

India is currently under a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus and has caused the large-scale urban-to-rural exodus. With it, economically marginalized people, especially the daily wage earners, are finding it hard to buy essential goods including food. Your small support can go a long way for the ones who need it and, perhaps, even save people from starvation. 

You can also make the donations by following this link: https://bit.ly/3bymgu5. 

Boonbox, a rural assisted commerce platform that delivers smartphone and white goods to villages and towns with a population of fewer than 20,000 people, today announced that it is repurposing its organization to serve rural India in its fight against COVID-19. Through this initiative, Boonbox will collaborate with State and Central Governments, Development Financial Institutions, Corporate Foundations and Trusts to ensure that there is a continuous supply of essential services across these regions. 

Boonbox has the capabilities to deliver products in and around 3,00,000 villages across 16 states in the country. Rural consumers believe in the brand and its delivery system. To begin with, Boonbox Mission lifeline will limit its current outreach only to the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa. Through the “Mission Lifeline Bharat” programme, Boonbox will ensure a continuous supply of Medicines, FMCG goods (baby food, milk powder, biscuits, etc), Sanitation products (sanitary napkins, disinfectants, diapers, gloves, masks, etc) and basic Home Groceries (Rice, wheat, pulses, sugar, salt, etc). 

Ramachandran Ramanathan, CEO & Founder of Boonbox said, “As the threat of COVID-19 pandemic increases, the entire country must be able to gain access to essential services and commodities. Over 70% of India lives across rural towns and villages, which means there are around 138 million households in this region. It is extremely important to ensure that there are sufficient relief measures undertaken to ensure that families gain access to at least the minimum essentials required during these tough times. Due to the lockdown, numerous supply chains have been broken, thus causing a deficit of essential commodities in these regions. Our last-mile reach will make it easier to streamline delivery across these regions.”