Saluting our Heroes and Cheerful Givers

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The past four months have witnessed a surge in financial donations and contributions in aiding governments at the States and Central, as well as various NGOs who are doing their part in bringing about relief medically, economically, physically, mentally and emotionally. Medical kits, medicines, hygiene kits, ration kits, hot meals, shelter, livelihood opportunities, aiding migrants to return home, and many other initiatives have been undertaken. We recognise these contributions in all forms, and we also salute the heroic contribution of healthcare workers and well as all those on the frontline. Here are a few more stories of encouragement.

Lam Research India

Lam Research India is funding local organisations to help address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits available in the state for COVID-19 testing. In addition, some of the Lam funds will be used to build Suraksha kiosks, named after the Hindi word for safety or protection, which features an innovative design that eliminates the need for full-body PPE kits since it provides a protective physical barrier between the health professional and the patient.

The Suraksha kiosks were originally designed by 13 volunteers from Lam Research India along with five local doctors, who collaborated to outline the key problems with the COVID-19 sample collection process that an engineering team could help address. The first kiosk was funded by the volunteer team and built by a local vendor.

Realising the benefits of the kiosk, the Department of Medical Education requested more Suraksha kiosks for hospitals across Karnataka. Lam India’s CSR team offered to provide funds for additional kiosks as well as PPE kits, as part of its community engagement activity.

The first two of the Suraksha kiosks were installed at Bangalore’s Victoria and Bowring Hospitals and the district hospital, Chikkaballpaur. Using each kiosk, technicians can test an average of 200 people per day.

“This is a great initiative by volunteers from Lam Research India,” said Dr K Sudhakar, Minister of Medical Education for the Government of Karnataka. “The uniquely designed kiosks protect frontline healthcare workers. I would like to thank Lam’s volunteers and its CSR team for stepping forward to help the community in this time of dire need.”

The kiosk is built with a pressurised and filtered working area, a three-sided sampling interface, an automated sanitisation system, extended reach gloves assembly, and separated sample-collection areas to facilitate the safety of the patients and healthcare personnel. They feature a built-in sanitising system so that only one health professional is needed to collect a sample, freeing the previously needed second health professional to assist with other patients.

“At Lam Research, we are proud of the accomplishments of our people and their positive contributions to the community,” said Krishnan Shrinivasan, VP and Managing Director of Lam Research India. “We hope that these sample collection kiosks and additional PPE kits will provide the much-needed support to our healthcare professionals and hospitals.”

Perfetti Van Melle India

In a symbolic show of respect and gratitude to Gurugram’s front-liners who have been relentlessly fighting the war against the coronavirus by risking their lives to protect the city, confectionery major Perfetti Van Melle India (PVMI) collaborated with various administrative bodies to distribute its curated Freshness Kits. These kits carry items that help refresh front-liners like doctors, nurses, policemen, security guards who are on their feet during their long, arduous workdays and to help them keep their personal protection in place.  A total of 300 kits were distributed in collaboration with the Gurugram District Commissioner, the district AYUSH Center and the Gurugram Civil Hospital. Each kit contained a sanitiser, hand wipes, N-95 masks and Center Fresh products to add a dose of freshness, packed in a handy sling bag.

“We are very happy that Perfetti Van Melle is taking this initiative to support our frontline workers during this crisis. This will help in their safety and comfort as they work towards protecting people,” said Amit Khatri, DC Gurugram.

In its commitment to serve communities around its manufacturing units, the Perfetti team met doctors, nurses, housekeeping staff, security staff, amongst others, at the Civil Hospital – Sector 10, Gurugram, where COVID-19 infected patients are being treated and distributed the Freshness Kits. Additionally, the teams also met Dr Manju Bangar – District Ayurvedic Officer, In-charge of AYUSH, Gurugram – Govt. of Haryana, to acknowledge the great work being done by the department and distribute the kits to their staff. Additionally, the Company will also provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to the AYUSH Department.

Acknowledging the efforts, Dr Manju District AYUSH in-charge said, “On behalf of AYUSH GURUGRAM, we would like to thank the entire team of Perfetti for this thoughtful gesture.”

Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Managing Director – Perfetti Van Melle India (PVMI) commented, “It is our honour to support and thank the frontline team that has been working tirelessly in these testing times. These kits are a means of expression of our gratitude.” 

Agastya International Foundation

Be it shifting its operations online or working on the ground to spread awareness and distribute essentials, Agastya’s efforts during the pandemic has been swift and effective. It has been working on developing modules to educate people on COVID-19. The teams across the country have been volunteering their hours to raise funds to buy and provide food supplies and masks to those in need. Summer camps have been conducted online which is an integral part of Agastya’s pedagogy. The series of art and craft activities were organised like making posters and flipbooks to low-cost model making. They are designed to bring out the best of children’s’ creativity and can be made using materials available in their homes. With a specific focus on skill development, online teacher training sessions were also conducted for teachers in Tamil Nadu, NCR, Gujarat, Sikkim, Karnataka, AP, Odisha and others. More than two lakh children and 4000 plus teachers have been reached through these sessions so far in the outreach activities spanning 21 States.

Regional teams in Maharashtra and Gujarat have contributed Rs One Lakh+ towards COVID-19 relief. Agastya has also raised Rs 25+ Lakh for dry ration distribution. About 15,000 plus beneficiaries were reached through relief activities.

In a shining example of the innovative methods promoted by Agastya, two of our instructors, Pandurang and Balaji, converted a cowshed into a classroom when they could not conduct classes in their homes. They reached out to more than 100 teachers through the online workshops conducted in the shed, proving that learning does not have to stop.

The digital programmes have not just been restricted to children. 100+ women across Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh who are parents of children reached by Agastya are being taught design-thinking process, which is an interactive process that encourages innovative and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions to problems. Through these classes, mothers are taught to develop 21st-century skills, which are an integral part of the design-thinking process. They also helped to recognise and design thinking as a way of life and inspired to teach and pass on the knowledge they gained at Agastya to their peers.

“At Agastya, we believe every crisis – unprecedented or otherwise – gives birth to an opportunity,” says Ramji Raghavan, Chairperson of Agastya. “We are exploring partnerships with both Corporate and government organisations to make our infrastructure and people available in the fight against COVID-19 – our Mobile Science Labs, Labs-on-Bikes and Science Centres to deliver personal protective equipment and food,” he added.

Fujifilm India

Fujifilm India Private Limited, a pioneer in imaging technologies, in line with its commitment to provide aid during this unprecedented crisis, has strengthened its pledge to contribute to healthcare experts of the Holy Spirit Hospital, Mumbai, during the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Company has announced the supply of around 200 PPE kits to healthcare professionals at this hospital. To combat the spread of the disease, Fujifilm is providing these essential preventive healthcare utility (PPE) kits to doctors, which include surgeon gown, face mask, gloves, preventive eyewear, hood cap and shoe cover.

Commenting on this, Haruto Iwata, Managing Director, Fujifilm India Pvt. Ltd. said, “We all are witnessing an unprecedented and difficult time of our lives due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. As Mumbai battles the highest number of coronavirus cases in India, we wanted to show our support to healthcare professionals and salute these health warriors for stepping up for the country selflessly. Committed to working together with the people of India in this hour of difficulty, we have introduced these measures to ensure adequate protective equipment and masks are available for healthcare specialists and associated workforce present on the frontlines. At Fujifilm, we believe it’s time for all of us to come together and protect humanity by acting responsibly and by doing what we can do to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” 

In addition, the Company is installing Computed Radiology, Digital Radiology systems and Imagers across isolation wards at hospitals to ensure effective monitoring and controlling the disease outbreaks. These technologies will empower clinicians to improve efficiency and expedite the early diagnosis of the disease.

Amplus

Masks are playing a pivotal role in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and keeping the community safe. They are expected to reduce the chance of transmission of contagion by almost 70 per cent. While awareness on wearing a mask is slowly rising, it is seen that many of the non-medical frontline workers like house helpers, security guards, street vendors, delivery persons, and in general, vulnerable sections of the society are not wearing proper masks due to its unavailability.

Amplus Solar, a leading distributed energy company, as part of its CSR activity, has pledged to make available one million reusable cloth masks to the non-medical frontline workers. Amplus launched #Millionsmiles in June 2020 and has been actively conducting a mask distribution drive with the help of its employees and volunteers. The distribution drive that started with societies and residences in Gurgaon and through the District Collector’s Office in Gurgaon, later spread across Delhi and NCR with help of volunteers through the digital platform https://amplussolar.com/millionsmiles/.

Within a month, #Millionsmiles has distributed over 1,60,000 masks in more than 450 locations such as Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Agra, Indore, Hyderabad, etc., and to smaller towns such as Rabriyawas, Ajmer and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan,  Rewa and Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, Mirzapur and Agra in Uttar Pradesh, and Hulkoti and Nelralagunta in Karnataka, among others.

The masks are being procured from multiple NGOs that are utilising the manpower of underprivileged workers whose routine livelihoods have been struck badly due to the pandemic. The donated money is helping these workers and their families to meet their basic necessities. Amplus has collaborated with a reputed NGO, Urmul Seemant who have been facilitating mask-making by home-based women workers from the interiors of Rajasthan. Urmul focuses on the upliftment of vulnerable and marginal sections of the society – women and children and has been actively making an impact through health, livelihoods, education, governance, and advocacy interventions.

“We want to provide masks to people who do not have access to them. We urge everyone to use masks in public and follow all protocols required to keep themselves as well as their community safe,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, CEO and Managing Director of Amplus.

Amplus has contributed approximately Rs 15 Lakh for this initiative through its own funds and subsequently received voluntary contributions from its employees and other volunteers. It has collaborated with Ketto, a reputed fundraising platform to raise enough to procure and distribute one million masks. Ketto is Asia’s most trusted and visited online crowdfunding platform. Over Rs 1000 Crore have been raised on Ketto for various social causes since its inception in 2012.

With this CSR initiative, Amplus strengthens its commitment to building a healthier sustainable future.

RBL Bank 

RBL Bank enabled repurposing of its CSR programme managed by the NGO, Natarajan Education Society (NES). NES trains women on tailoring and fashion designing to help them set up small business and self-help groups. The Bank gave an opportunity to the women to manufacture three-ply cloth masks, as part of the obligation for the safety of its frontline workers, business correspondents and Branch staff and customers.

The women beneficiaries and NES in a short duration transited from classroom training to a completely virtual environment in order to learn to make high-quality masks. Within two months, these women beneficiaries manufactured 60,000 masks that were distributed across the four zones in India.

RBL Bank has also partnered with the West Bengal State Rural Livelihood Mission (WBSRLM) women-managed SHG – Anandadhara. They manufactured 10,000 masks which were distributed locally in the East and North-Eastern part of the country.

Commenting on this initiative, Shanta Vallury Gandhi, Head HR, CSR & Internal Branding, RBL Bank said, “These activities hugely helped the women beneficiaries gain meaningful work and provided the much-needed economic support that helped hike their overall family’s income, especially during the lockdown phase of COVID-19.” 

Vedanta

Vedanta Limited, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Limited, a global oil and gas and metals company, has launched Phase 2 of its “Meal for All” programme to provide meals to daily wage earners across the country during the pandemic.

The programme successfully provided more than 11.08 lakh meals to daily wage earners in the first phase. The project also distributed 49,626 dry ration packets to local communities and engaged more than 15,000 women in mask-making activities. The programme not only provided aid to the suffering people but also extended a helping hand to stray animals in the rural and urban areas. More than 12.70 lakh stray animals were fed in Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Pune in the first phase.

Speaking on the initiative, Anil Agarwal, Chairman – Vedanta Resources, said, “The spread of COVID-19 has led to the closure of many economic and employable institutions. This has left a huge number of daily wage earners stranded without any scope of income and daily essentials.  Our initiative is an effort to provide them with the basic necessities and ease their pain as much as possible. We aim to reach a maximum number of people with this initiative and provide a ray of hope to the daily wage earners and give them strength.”

The Phase-2 of the Meals for All programme was flagged off by Gunvant Patel, noted entrepreneur and philanthropist. It will be a week-long initiative with a target of reaching 38,000 daily wage earners and their families across Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. They are being provided with ration kits consisting of daily essentials such as rice, pulses, refined oil and spices, along with a pair of slippers. The project aims to provide better living conditions to people in the coming days whilst providing temporary relief.

Complimenting Vedanta on this initiative, Gunvant Patel said, “The pandemic is truly a test of our resilience and the strength of togetherness. This is the moment where we have to come together to give, share and reach the people in need. Vedanta’s gesture through Meals for All is an example of humility and how such initiatives are so important during times like these. I am glad to contribute to the programme and I look forward to maximising our efforts.” 

Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI)

With Unlock 2.0 in place and the whole country trying to adapt to the new normal, there is a dire need to handhold lakhs of the migrant population who undertook the mass exodus from Tier-I cities to their villages. Despite the lockdown being lifted, these vulnerable groups have not been able to adapt to the new normal and restart their livelihood. They are still struggling to meet their basic needs of food. Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI), a renowned NGO based out of Bengaluru has been tirelessly supporting these vulnerable groups over the past four months with meals across the country. It has served 2.5 million meals till date to these vulnerable groups in 38 districts spread across nine States in India. Out of this, nearly 85 per cent of the meals were provided to the migrant population which was the worst-hit due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Talking about the milestone achievement, Dola Mohapatra, Executive Director, Rise Against Hunger India said, “Over the last four months, our focus has widened to include more vulnerable groups under our meal distribution programme. The early stages of our COVID-19 responses were concentrated in metro cities focussing on the vulnerable community like labour, daily-wagers. However, over the past six weeks, we have managed to reach out across 38 districts in nine States of India to cater to the migrants who moved back to their villages.”

Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI) along with its strong network of partners and volunteers managed to reach the several districts across Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala &nd Delhi. In the past six weeks over 1.2 million meals have been distributed, out of which, close to 75 per cent has been outside main metro cities.

“Out of the 2.5 million meals distributed through our COVID-19 response over the last four months, nearly 85 per cent have gone to workers who lost their employment during COVID-19 related lockdowns or closures.  We were challenged by the logistical and other constraints, but all thanks to our strong network of partners and field volunteers who helped us reach the most vulnerable groups,” added Mohapatra.

RAHI envisages that continued support will be required in the coming four to six months for these migrants who have been the worst-hit.

“Hunger is the biggest enemy for these groups as of today and we need to work towards providing them ample provisions so that they along with their families can have two decent meals per day. Due to spike in a number of cases, uncertainty prevails over when workers will be able to get back to earn a stable income. In these tough times, we need to support them. We would like to appeal to all Corporate groups, large business houses and other organisations who wish to contribute to come forward and help in providing basic food to these people and prevent them from succumbing to hunger,” Mohapatra added.

Apart from food, RAHI is also planning to mobilise essentials like cooking oil, spices, masks etc. which can be utilised by these people.

In order to contribute to the cause led by RAHI, you can visit:
https://www.instamojo.com/riseagainsthungerindia/rise-against-hunger-india-covid-19-response/

DXC Technology India

Staying true to its commitment of bringing about positive change and helping the community, DXC Technology India along with its employees have contributed Rs Two Crore to the PM-CARES Fund.

To help with the COVID-19 relief efforts, DXC Technology has encouraged its employees to contribute and decided to match the amount from the employees’ donation. Many employees have participated in the initiative and contributed to this very important cause.

“The world is dealing with an unprecedented crisis. We are proud to see that our employees have come forwarded and pledged their support. We hope that this contribution can bring some relief to those who are in dire need of support during this difficult time,” said Lokendra Sethi, Vice President and India Human Resources leader, DXC Technology.

Hyundai Mobis  

Mobis India Limited, an established player in manufacturing high-quality automotive parts and accessories for Hyundai Motors in India donated Rs 3.50 Crore through its CSR Arm, Mobis India Foundation, for COVID-19 Relief.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director, AS Parts Division, Mobis India, remarked, “These are very challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. There has been immense misery and a huge loss of human lives and worsened the plight of millions of people across the globe. At Mobis India, we are cognizant to this fact and have launched several measures to reach out and help the poor and needy. We have donated Rs. 0.50 Crore to the PM-CARES Fund. Besides this, we have also distributed masks and sanitisers worth Rs 3 Crore through an NGO, Oli India.”