Seeds of Kindness

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Aid and contributions in manifold ways have been continuously pouring in for the fight against the pandemic.  It is uplifting and reassuring to witness the human spirit exemplifying kindness and instilling hope at this very critical juncture. As we have always mentioned in our posts, we salute the indomitable spirit of our heroes who are out there on the frontline, in their different capacities and calling, who are making the lives of people around them better and easier by the sacrifices they have made in the past few months. For hope, for kindness, for giving, for caring – thank you. 

HCL

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath visited the HCL-supported, 24×7 Integrated Control Centre in Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP. The Centre which has been operational since April 3, 2020, is one of the first such centres in UP and has played a critical role in responding to citizen queries in the wake of the pandemic. HCL set up the “All-in-One” control room, reachable on toll-free number – 1-800-419-2211, at one of its facilities in Noida, with support from the GB Nagar district administration, the police, health department, and both Noida Authority and Greater Noida Authority. The Centre has responded to two lakh fifty thousand citizen queries since it began operations.

Data analysis of the call volume reveals that the majority of the calls received have been food-related (60 per cent) with callers requesting for information on ordering groceries online or dry ration and cooked meals support. The Control Room also responded to 15 per cent queries related to health services, including questions around e-pass for hospital visits, ambulance-related services and pharmacy options. 21 per cent of the total calls were related to other queries including information on masks and sanitiser availability, ATM accessibility, etc. The remaining four per cent calls were police-related.

HCL employees have been supporting the call centre operations on a 24×7 basis while keeping in mind the required social distancing norms. The Centre’s focus has also been on screening callers and queries before referring them to a team of doctors appointed by the Government for further course of recommendation. 12 per cent of the total health-related calls received were, therefore, referred for doctor consultation. The Control Centre also included processes for following up and reporting of all unconfirmed, suspected, foreign return cases as well as mobile tracking and monitoring for all home and hotel quarantine cases basis inputs from official government authorities.

Jubilant Life Sciences Limited

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath received Remdesivir (‘JUBI-R’) from Shyam S. Bhartia, Chairman, Jubilant Life Sciences Limited. This COVID-19 medicine was researched at Jubilant’s Noida R&D facilities.

On the occasion, Shri Yogi Adityanath said, “Remdesivir is an effective medicine in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases. In this critical situation, I am pleased that this medicine was made available by Jubilant in the quick time of two and a half months.” The Chief Minister noted that Jubilant has a large presence in UP. He also invited Jubilant to make further investments and look at the opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector.

In May 2020, Jubilant entered into a non-exclusive Licensing Agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc., that granted it the right to register, manufacture and sell Gilead’s investigational drug Remdesivir in 127 countries including India. Jubilant recently launched Remdesivir injection under the brand name ‘JUBI-R’ in the Indian market. The drug is being made available to over 1,000 hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment in India through the Company’s distribution network. Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the USFDA for treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.

“It gives us immense pleasure and satisfaction to present ‘JUBI-R’ the life-saving medicine to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath. We are delighted to support the Uttar Pradesh Government in its fight against COVID-19 by donating 1000 vials of JUBI-R (Remdesivir) through our CSR arm, the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. We are thankful to the Uttar Pradesh Government for its support in producing this critical drug in a short span of time. Jubilant remains committed to the cause of providing leading healthcare solutions addressing the needs of the patients,” stated Shyam S. Bhartia, Chairman, Jubilant Life Sciences Limited.  

Biocon

History is witness to the global disruption that has been generated by the rapid spread of coronavirus. Besides being a health crisis, the pandemic also brought economic and business activities to a standstill in India. The collateral damage of this has been the denial of livelihood and access to food for the economically challenged sections. It is at this inflection point that Biocon, India’s largest, innovation-led biopharma company that is no stranger to social responsibility approached Akshaya Patra Foundation to collaborate in distributing dry ration kits to vulnerable groups in  Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking on behalf of Biocon Foundation, Mission Director, Pratima Rao said that, “Aligning with social causes has been fundamental to Biocon’s’ DNA and an integral part of the business model.  We have been associated with Akshaya Patra Foundation for some time now. Initially, our primary agenda was to augment the supply of nutritious meals to schools and Anganwadi centres in Karnataka and Telangana. However, at a time when the country was battling a pandemic, the association was extended to reach relief efforts to underprivileged sections of society across several locations. As a further commitment, we will continue to invest in innovative and impactful programs in partnership with like-minded organisations, to improve the lives of the poor and marginalised communities.”

Moreover, Biocon, quick to adapt to any situation, has been instrumental in developing testing kits and effective therapies for COVID-19. As a CSR Initiative, Biocon’s research arm Syngene International, runs an ICMR-approved COVID-19 testing laboratory, using RT-PCR technology, to speed up affordable testing in Bengaluru.

Biocon Foundation is focused on four key thematic areas of intervention – healthcare, education, environmental sustainability and rural development. It has forged meaningful partnerships with government agencies, NGOs and academia for solutions to address the issues of sustainable development. The Foundation is engaged in several public-private partnership (PPP) projects aimed at effectively and transparently implementing welfare schemes for marginalized communities.

Biocon Foundation brings effective primary healthcare services to the doorstep of underprivileged sections and models new approaches for public healthcare delivery. Responsible practices in the areas of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources have resulted in path-breaking results. The rural development initiatives are directed towards improving the standard of living of rural communities by the provision of basic infrastructure and services in resource-limited settings. The disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities are focused on the sustainable recovery of disaster-affected communities. In addition, the Grant-in-Aid initiative has rendered financial support to innovative solutions for real-world problems.

On the collaboration with Biocon Foundation, Shridhar Venkat, CEO, Akshaya Patra Foundation said, “We are deeply touched with the support we have received from Biocon Foundation during these unprecedented times. We appreciate Biocon for coming forward to collaborate with us in eliminating hunger from society.”

Incidentally, Akshaya Patra and its associate foundations have served about 72 million meals to underprivileged sections of the society over the last four months.

Mauris Noronha

As India marks its fifth month of living with the coronavirus pandemic, the situation continues to deteriorate. Millions across the nation have been left in dire straits, reeling under the spectre of unemployment and unable to provide for themselves and their families. These trying times desperately call for a hero. And for lakhs of individuals across Maharashtra, that call has been answered by philanthropist and businessman Mauris Noronha.

A resident of Borivali’s I.C. Colony, Mauris is a professional poker player who has dedicated himself to the task of caring for society’s most vulnerable segments. From the time the lockdown began, this generous soul has provided essential supplies and provisions to lakhs of needy families in Mumbai and across Maharashtra. Travelling across the city and its adjoining regions, Mauris has made it his mission to reach out to as many in need as possible.

This determination to helping society first took root in his own backyard. When news of the upcoming lockdown was first announced in March, Mauris advised the members of his housing society to maintain a strict quarantine and took it upon himself to supply over 120 families in their own compound. Aware of the ease with which the coronavirus spread and the danger it posed, especially to the elderly and the young, he was determined to keep his neighbourhood safe.

As the impact of the lockdown on society’s weakest sections became apparent in the coming weeks, Mauris refused to stand by idly. With a team of likeminded volunteers, he initiated a door-to-door campaign in the worst-hit slums of Mumbai. Initially focused on Borivali and Dahisar, Mauris and his team personally visited zero-income families in these areas with daily and weekly deliveries of food supplies. By April, this initiative had provided vital rations to lakhs of individuals across an approximate of 30,000 households.

But his generosity didn’t stop there. Drawing solely from his own earnings Mauris has since expanded his outreach efforts to every corner of Mumbai, from Cuffe Parade to Virar, and stretching as far north in Palghar. In addition, he has distributed supplies in areas of Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Pune and Nasik and the surrounding districts of Maharashtra. Working tirelessly throughout the day, Mauris has also begun to extend his aid in other ways. He has begun to distribute vital medical supplies and protective equipment to ambulance staffers and auto-rickshaw drivers in the region and helped stranded migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar navigate the bureaucratic requirements necessary to return to their homes. Furthermore, he has extended his support and generosity to numerous stranded migrants, handicapped groups, transgenders, school teachers, ambulance personnel, police staff, BEST drivers, press reporters, fishing workers and villagers, auto-rickshaw drivers, security personnel, senior citizens, and bar girls, etc and many more people have received support from Mauris.

This marks the fifth month of his ongoing crusade to aid those in need. In this timeframe, Mauris has singlehandedly provided over an immeasurable number of life-saving supplies to tens of thousands of individuals. Through his selfless efforts and without taking any donations from anybody be it in any form, Mauris has proved himself to be the hero our nation so desperately needs, serving as a shining example of all that is good about the human spirit.

Dettol BSI and Wipro GE Healthcare

With a focus at enhancing public health system, Dettol Banega Swasth India, a flagship programme by RB, in partnership with Wipro GE Healthcare India introduced a training programme for frontline health workers amidst the raging spread of COVID-19. The integrated partnership programme is aimed at training 250+ health workers across Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand with on-ground support from Plan India and Jagran Pehel.

COVID-19 leaves some of India’s most vulnerable communities facing “a crisis within a crisis”. As per a study conducted by the United Nations (UN) in India, there have been major concerns around the impact of the crisis on vulnerable populations, especially women and children. Some of the factors include disruption in the supply of essentials and divided attention towards other healthcare facilities/support. Additionally, the public health support system assisting to fight back COVID-19 at the grassroots levels is weakening given these unprecedented challenges.

Addressing the gravity of the issue and to alleviate the panic and appropriately curb community transmission, the two-leading healthcare organisations partnered to equip ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, women health educators and allied front line health workers in India.

Commenting on the partnership initiative, Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, RB Health, said, “We at Dettol are deeply concerned given this unprecedented pandemic and its impact on our healthcare warriors exposed to vulnerable communities across the nation. We understand that our front-line workers need community support and correct upgraded skill-set as they are assigned the crucial role of screening and awareness generation at the grassroots level. With a vision to support the frontline health workers, Dettol, #1 trusted partner of the Indian population and Wipro GE Healthcare joined forces to provide accurate knowledge and elevated skill sets. we hope that with this training, the community health and nutrition workers are better able to perform their field duties and carry out efficient screening and awareness activities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to serve, educate, and partner with the aim of a healthier nation.”

“We are immensely proud to partner with RB and ‘Dettol Banega Swachh India’ initiative in enabling frontline healthcare workers to strengthen their response to COVID-19. GE Healthcare’s long-standing experience in the healthcare industry has taught us that a bottoms-up approach to awareness, prevention and cure goes a long way in addressing a healthcare crisis of this scale. This partnership has allowed both organisations to come together and deploy their unique strengths in India’s fight against the pandemic. We look forward to taking this partnership from strength to strength and play our part in creating a healthier India,” said Nalinikanth Gollagunta, Managing Director, Wipro GE Healthcare.

Dettol BSI will be providing technical support in infection prevention, best practices, as well as mobilisation support through its partners in the field. Wipro GE Healthcare is the end-to-end training implementation partner, involved in content development, curriculum management and deploying experienced faculty for the programme. The participants will be trained on best practices in hygiene and infection prevention, DIY tools (e.g. making a mask, preparing sanitiser at home, etc), personal safety and precaution guidelines, recommendations for home isolation and quarantine, myth-busting and overall mental health.

Adhering to the nationwide lockdown and social distancing norms, the participants are being trained digitally through a Learning Management System that features quizzes, videos, interactive tools, and additional reading materials, available to all participants.

Societe Generale 

Since the beginning of the health crisis, Societe Generale has provided exceptional support in different countries of the world, namely in France and Africa. 

With the mobilisation of all its teams in India, Societe Generale has committed to donating over INR 50 million (650,000 Euros) in support of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Societe Generale has partnered with three of its currently supported NGOs – Action Against Hunger, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and VIDYA Integrated Development for Youth and Adults – to assist their programmes specifically aiming at supporting those in need during the COVID crisis.

The funds will support front line health professionals and hospitals to fight the virus, and also help vulnerable communities by providing them with essential hygiene and nutrition needs. More specifically, the programmes are focusing on:

  • supporting health professionals, community health and welfare workers and hospitals with medical gear to safeguard their health and protect them from contracting infections;
  • giving essential items and creating awareness on safety through informational material delivered via phone and mobile vehicles making public announcements;
  • providing those impacted by the loss of earnings including migrant and daily wage workers, people with disabilities, pregnant women and elderly population with necessities;
  • helping with mental wellness and counselling to families.

The importance of this financial support demonstrates the spirit and commitment of over 8,000 staff, joining Societe Generale and its Indian entities (Societe GeneraleBank in Mumbai and Delhi, Societe Generale Securities India Pvt Ltd in Mumbai and Societe Generale Global Solution Centre in Bangalore and Chennai) to raise the total amount donated.

Antoine Castel, Chief Executive and Chief Country Officer of India, states: “As a Group, we are fully engaged and committed to our clients, partner associations and employees. Along with our NGO partners, we unite to alleviate the hardships of the frontline health professionals and the vulnerable communities who struggle during these times. Our gratitude also goes towards each person in our partner organisations who are on the ground implementing our programmes to support those affected by this pandemic.”

Sunil Shah, CEO & Global Head, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre and Global Head, Societe Generale European Business Services, says: “This crisis has had a significant impact on vulnerable sections of society. Societe Generale’s commitment to CSR has always been strong, and our employees are active in volunteering and contributing to society. In this relief programme, our employees joined in mobilising to raise funds and added to the contribution of the company. Through these efforts and our partnership with NGOs, we hope to play a small role in alleviating the situation in the country.”

Everyone wishing to join this solidarity initiative can support the three Indian charities and find more information on our website.

Nando’s

Nando’s, the South African restaurant chain that is known for its world-famous flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, has joined hands with the volunteer-based zero-funds Robin Hood Army to provide 25,000 fresh, chicken meals to the needy across the slums of Bangalore and Delhi.

This month-long social initiative, that has been successfully running since July 15, 2020, and will continue until August 15, 2020, is serving socially vulnerable people with nutritious Nando’s meals. Globally a brand, Nando’s has been actively involved in social initiatives to contribute their little bit in giving back to society.

“As a brand, we believe in ‘Changing Lives Together’. The current crisis hasn’t been very kind to the vulnerable. Out of the 2,000 meals we’ve distributed over the last four days, 70 per cent have been given to daily wage workers who lost their means of livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel that if a worker can have one fresh, hot, nutritious meal a day especially when he doesn’t know where his next meal will come from, then we have reduced his worry considerably. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than the Robin Hood Army to feed the needy. The selfless passion of their on-ground volunteers has helped us reach the most vulnerable groups,” said Sameer Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer, Nando’s.

“Our Robins across the world try their level best to address the hunger in local communities, and bring smiles to the least fortunate. We are really grateful to partner with global food chain Nando’s and serve 25,000 fresh meals to those who need it most across Delhi, Bangalore, and Chandigarh,” said Neel Ghose, Founder, Robin Hood Army.

Each Nando’s casa or restaurant in Bangalore and Delhi will grill a fresh, hot meal of chicken and rice which is packed to perfection keeping all hygiene and sanitation protocols in mind. The Robin Hood Army, with its vast network of volunteers, will distribute these meals to those in need across the two cities.