Uniting for a Common Cause

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The COVID-19 induced lockdown brought economic activities in India to a grinding halt. Industries across all spectrums are suffering. Millions of daily wagers and migrant workers have been left in the lurch, thus facing deprivation and penury. Frontline workers like the medical workers, police personnel, sanitation workers, etc are working tirelessly to keep the general public safe and the lockdown strictly followed. This not only exposes them to the risk of being infected by the virus but also their family members. In the midst of a hopeless and dreary situation, help in the form of monetary contributions, food and hygiene kits, medical safety kits for the medical fraternity, shelter, medical emergency help, etc. has been witnessed across the country. This is the message every abled individual, Corporate and organisation want to convey: that in such tough and challenging times, we can overcome the situation by joining hands together for the common good.

CII-Young Indians & RCC Diva

CII-Young Indians in association with RCC Diva and the Greater Chennai Corporation launched SUGADHARAM, a touch-free, hand-wash system. It was inaugurated at Tiruvanmiyur Market jointly by actress Gowthami, and Vardharajan, Executive Engineer, Adyar Zone GCC.

RCC Diva Foundation, who sponsored this installation, were represented by Manisha Pramod Chordia, Sangeetha Harish Marlecha, Nisha Bisani, Vikas Jain and the Project Team. From CII-Young Indians Aditya Roongta, Immediate Past Chair, Vishal Mehta, Chair, Krishna Nathani, Co-Chair, Chennai Chapter, along with a few other office bearers were present at the inauguration.

This Touch Free Hand Wash project has been initiated by this young and energetic group to fight the COVID-19 crisis. The spread of the SAR-Cov2 virus or the coronavirus happens via droplet transmission and hand-touch human contact. On average, people touch their faces more than 16 times an hour. This is a major concern dealing with the fight against the coronavirus. The project also brings awareness of the need for handwash. Regular handwash is a basic of hygiene and during these times, it is a must to keep hands clean, hence the contactless handwash serves the purpose of hygiene and habit for all. Around 3000 people visit this market on a daily basis.

Young Indians are committed to the fight against COVID-19 and are working on several relief work and innovative projects to fight the virus.

U&i

U&i, India’s leading gadget accessory and consumer electronics brand organised a nationwide distribution campaign of face shield masks for the doctors, policemen, other security personnel and bank staff, etc. In its effort to help the nation in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the brand donated and distributed two lakh face shield masks all over India.

The company has locally produced these masks and donated them to frontline fighters such as doctors, policemen, other security personnel and bank staff, etc. The face shields were distributed in 15 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Kanpur, Agra, Jammu, Chandigarh, Rajkot, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Nagpur, and Bhubaneshwar.

Speaking on the occasion, Paresh Vij, Founder, and Director, U&i commented, “As a responsible organisation, we are pledged to support the country in the fight against COVID-19. We acknowledge that our policemen, doctors are our first defenders against the pandemic, and providing them with the necessary equipment to protect them from the pandemic is our top priority. Donating and distributing face shield masks are the first step towards that.”

Ugam

Guided by a philosophy to drive genuine impact for all stakeholders, Ugam, a Merkle company, has been supporting vulnerable communities through education and health initiatives. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the company is leading a community welfare mission to feed those facing hunger lockdown. It is aiming to raise INR 50 lakhs via GiveIndia, a non-profit online fundraising platform. In addition, Ugam has also contributed to the PM-CARES Fund and continues to support Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital with medical equipment.

The national lockdown has left millions of labourers struggling to access food and rations. Ugam’s mission will provide weekly ration kits – comprising pulses, rice, salt, oil, flour, spices, tea, sugar, and other essentials – to 10,000 hungry families.

After careful consideration, Ugam has partnered with three credible non-profit organisations via GiveIndia, to enable the delivery of these ration kits across vulnerable communities: Dignity Foundation, supporting senior citizens Goonj, working for disaster relief across India Oxfam, working towards alleviating poverty across India.

Sunil Mirani, Co-founder and CEO, Ugam, said, “I believe we cannot choose our circumstances, but we can certainly choose our response. I am proud of the response demonstrated by Ugam and Ugamites as they have been stepping up when it matters most. Our teams have invested time and effort to ascertain that we are driving genuine impact during this crisis. In such times, I consider it our privilege and duty to help those whose lives and livelihoods are impacted. After all, we believe profits are transient, but human lives are not.”

Vertex Global Services

Vertex Global Services, one of the fastest-growing services integrators announced US $40,000 in donations to support domestic and global response to the coronavirus and to aid public health relief effort.

“Now is the time to demonstrate the values of the Vertex family. Given the severity of the commotion, there is a compelling need for a multi-pronged response. Vertex urges Corporates/start-ups to come forward even stronger, and with a concerted action, to join hands during this pandemic. The fund is raised by the concept share the pain by the leadership team of Vertex who are willingly ready to forgo the salary for the next six months,” said Gagan Arora, EVP and Strategic Growth Leader of Vertex Global Services. He further added, “We sincerely appreciate and recognise the role of frontline healthcare providers by getting their expertise on this pandemic and care for the well-being of all. We are monitoring and will continue to monitor this situation closely for our employees, customers and the communities we serve, and we are prepared to adapt as needed.”

“Through this support, Vertex Global Services will be able to support three major requirements: assistance for those engaged in frontline medical and efforts to fight the virus, support for children, and support for members of the creative community in the IT industry, which has been greatly impacted by the spread of the virus,” said Vikas Arora – Vice President Business Transformation.

Lions Clubs International

Battling with world’s biggest crisis ever, when India underwent a complete lockdown with 135 crore people, it was time for some brave hearts “Lions” to come forward and show humanity and care to Indians!

Close on the heels of a 90-minute video conferencing between Dr Harshvardhan – the Honourable Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Past International President Lion – Dr Naresh Aggarwal, Lions Clubs International (LCI) – the world’s biggest service association with 2.8 lakh members in India alone, LCI made a huge contribution for the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Dr Naresh Aggarwal, “In the last 30 days, Lions have given over approximately Rs 15 crores to the PM-CARES Fund and Rs 20 crores to the CM and local government funds. Separately, Lions in 7,381 clubs across India have spent over Rs 80 Crores on food, protective equipment and sanitisers to directly serve over 50 lakh people. Apart from this, Lions Clubs International Foundation has given USD 2 Lakhs to combat the virus in India.

“As the lockdown eases, Lions will do even more to bring the country back to normal. We are thankful to Hon’ble Union Health Minister who inspired and instructed us on how we can save lives. His helicopter view brought the entire crisis into perspective. As India exponentially grows in medical equipment, Lions will be proud to connect the tools to the people in need. Finally, the International Directors of India and Past International Presidents gave their blessings and encouragement.”

Reiterating further Dr Aggarwal said, “The popular motto of Lions is the ‘Power of We’. Today, India is closer together and more unified than ever before. Tomorrow, let us retain this unity for other things as well. The word corona comes from crown. Once corona goes, let us put a crown on the heads of everyone so that each Indian can live a life of dignity.”

Hamdard National Foundation

Hamdard National Foundation (HNF) India has undertaken an initiative aimed to feed the underprivileged section of the society that has been the most affected in the current circumstances. Under its initiative – Ration Distribution Drive, HNF undertook food relief measures for migrant workers and daily wage labourers across the National Capital Region.

To implement food relief measures, Hamdard National Foundation collaborated with two different NGOs – Sofia and Guncha Foundation that have been actively extending help to the underprivileged families especially amidst the lockdown.  HNF donated ration to feed approximately 200 families through the NGO, Sofia. Dry Food Ration Kits were donated to Guncha Foundation to distribute it amongst the most vulnerable sections of society. Helping Hands, an initiative by teaching and non-teaching staff of Jamia Hamdard University, also collaborated with HNF in its Ration Distribution Drive.

Hamdard National Foundation has been rigorously working towards this initiative and has donated monthly supplies for almost 400 families to the Hon’ble Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Imran Hussain.

Hammad Ahmed, President, Hamdard National Foundation (India) said, “Hamdard is working day in and day out with partner NGOs and the government machineries to try and get as much food relief material to the underprivileged families, who have lost their livelihoods in this inevitable lockdown.”

HNF with the help of DM (South East) Delhi, distributed food ration kits to over 300 families based on the emergency distressed calls received by the authority. It was in collaboration with the NGO MARHAM, that ration kits were prepared inside Anglo Arabic Senior Secondary School, Ajmeri Gate, Delhi for the distribution drive.

In association with numerous NGOs and government authorities, HNF was successful in reaching out to more than 1200 underprivileged families, whose livelihood has come to a standstill during these times. Hamdard has always worked with a unique business model, wherein a significant amount of profits have always been given for charity for the holistic development of society. With this Dry Ration Distribution drive, the Foundation wants to convey the message that in such tough times, we all can overcome the situation by coming together. Guided by its purpose to nourish and provide maximum assistance during the outbreak, Hamdard India has been undertaking numerous initiatives.

Paytm

India’s leading digital payments and financial services platform Paytm have raised over Rs. Two Crore for its ‘Feed My Initiative’. The company has been encouraging fellow citizens to donate on the app and contribute towards serving meals to daily wage earners in Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Recently, Paytm partnered with KVN Foundation to serve meals to people who have lost their source of income due to the lockdown. The company has been requesting everyone to support this initiative by logging on to their Paytm App and clicking on the ‘Feed My City’ tab to donate. Together, Paytm and KVN Foundation are already serving over one lakh meals per day across five cities. As the lockdown gets extended, they are targeting to serve another 20 lakh meals over the next few weeks.

Siddharth Pandey, Vice President – Paytm said, “With generous contribution from our users, we have raised over Rs Two Crore in just ten days. This has helped us to serve meals to over 10 lakh individuals across India. We request everyone willing to contribute to this initiative to join this cause so that nobody sleeps without food.”

The ‘Feed My City’ initiative has also been supported by renowned personalities including Nandan Nilekani, Sunil Shetty, Saina Nehwal, Vishwanathan Anand, Mary Kom, Anil Kumble and KL Rahul. 

Yuva Unstoppable

Yuva Unstoppable recently distributed family essential kits to daily wagers, supporting about 15,000 needful people across the country. In addition to this, the NGO also distributed hygiene kits for police personnel and their family members under its ‘Unstoppable Police Project’, benefitting close to a total of 60,000 people countrywide.

Amitabh Shah, Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer of Yuva Unstoppable, said, “The pandemic has not only created a global health and safety risk but has also created another health concern which is the lack of basic nutrition to last an individual during a single day. During this time it is essential not only provide food and safety to those in need but equally important to reach out and support those who are the frontline warriors in today’s time. Through our collective foot and safety kits distribution, we have been able to give support to more than 70,000 people and plan to reach many more.”

The family essential kits distributed consist of basic groceries and hygiene essentials like cereals, pulses, oil, essential spices, tea, sugar, soap or hand wash, and hand sanitiser for the family of daily wage labourers that lasts them at least a month. The hygiene kits being distributed consist of basic hygiene equipment like masks, hand sanitisers, soaps or hand wash, and a ‘thank you’ note acknowledging the efforts and spirit of the police personnel and their family members as they continue to fight the battle on the frontlines to protect the general masses. 100 per cent of the donations received from this campaign go straight towards benefitting the beneficiaries.

Yuva Unstoppable’s interventions have brought about great relief to daily wage labourers, police personnel and their family members in different parts of the country in their fight against the pandemic. During the distribution of these kits, all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that appropriate norms of social distancing and personal protection are followed by the volunteers as well as the beneficiaries at the grassroots.

SHAREit

SHAREit, in an attempt to help fight the adverse effects of COVID-19 in India and with the intention to provide aid to vulnerable families impacted by the pandemic, has partnered with The Akshaya Patra Foundation. The Company has committed to donate Rs One Crore as a part of the initiative which would help feed 500,000 people in need.

“The world is going through extremely harsh times at the moment, and we at SHAREit believe that it is times like these that demand everybody to join hands to help each other. While the world is trying to find a way out of this pandemic, it is crucial to ensure that the people affected by the crisis are taken care of. Providing meals and groceries to these people is our way of showing that we are all in this together”, said SHAREit Spokesperson, Hitesh Dhingra.

Expressing his gratitude, Shridhar Venkat, CEO – Akshaya Patra, said, “We are immensely grateful to SHAREit for their support in these crucial times. Their generous contribution will enable us to serve freshly cooked meals and distribute essential groceries kits to thousands of people from vulnerable communities, affected by the nation-wide lockdown. In these testing times, only collective efforts in the service of those in need will carry us through as a nation.”

SHAREit has also taken steps to increase awareness about the virus by setting up live updates section on the application. The application updates the consumers about the number of cases discovered both in India and globally as well as the state-wise bifurcation of the spread of the virus. The application also offers a helpline number to ensure safety. 

DBS Asia Hub 2

DBS Asia Hub 2 (DAH2) announced that it has raised over INR 6.5 Million to date, in support of COVID-19 relief measures. This will be utilised for providing over 435,000 meals and supporting the local hospitals with testing equipment.

In partnership with United Way of Hyderabad, DAH2 organised a donation drive for employees to support hard-hit sections of the society and bolster the Government’s efforts in healthcare delivery. For every donation made by an employee, DAH2 made a matching contribution of double the amount, thereby tripling the impact.

DAH2 in partnership with United Way of Hyderabad has provided grocery kits and other essentials to about 1500 families affected by the pandemic. Out of these, 300 kits were donated to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) sanitation workers in the Gachibowli area of Hyderabad. Each kit worth INR 2000 contains essential supplies including groceries and sanitation materials for a family of five which will enable them to meet their needs for at least a month, amounting to 435,000 meals.  Part of the donations will be used in funding the rapid testing equipment used for fast testing of COVID-19 cases in Telengana as requested by the State authorities for government hospitals. In response to the evolving situation and with the aim to increase capacity at local hospitals, DAH2 has joined hands for the ‘IT4TS’ campaign. DAH2’s donation will be utilised towards an RNA extractor, which is critical for COVID-19 testing.

The organisation had also donated 15,000 masks to health workers and sponsored 2000 meals through the Akshaya Patra Foundation earlier in March.

Globally, DBS has introduced the ‘DBS Stronger Together’ campaign and committed SGD 10.5 million to help sections of the society that are hard hit by COVID-19 across the region. Through the fund, it will provide about 4.5 million meals and care packs to affected individuals across Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan. 

Alex Woo, CEO, DBS Asia Hub 2 said, “We aim to extend our support to underserved communities that are hard-hit by the pandemic through this initiative. We thank our employees for pledging their support and participating in the donation drive. DBS has been committed towards making valuable contributions to the society and we will continue to join hands in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 through such measures.”

Rekha Srinivasan, the CEO, United Way of Hyderabad, said, “We are grateful to DBS Asia Hub 2 and their employees for their generous contribution. This contribution will go a long way in supporting underprivileged families and build community resilience. United Way of Hyderabad is working with the communities at the grassroots to ensure support reaches the needy in these crucial times of Covid-19 spread.”

Mastercard 

The health and economic consequences of COVID-19 have highlighted the critical need to support vulnerable populations, many of whom are disproportionately impacted. In this time of global crisis, Mastercard today expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.

The extended commitment builds on Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 related health and economic challenges facing individuals all over the world.

“If we’re going to recover in any sort of long-term, sustainable way, we have to make sure that everyone is included. Getting people access to the digital economy is a critical part of that,” said Ajay Banga, Chief Executive Officer at Mastercard. “This is so much more than philanthropy. This is an opportunity to develop commercially-sustainable and scalable social impact with government and private sector partners and to do it in a way that helps the society at large thrive.”

During the current coronavirus crisis, digital payments have enabled Mastercard to continue disbursing same-day loans to women entrepreneurs in need, providing critical lifelines of support to their businesses.

This latest announcement builds on Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to support an inclusive recovery by leveraging the company’s technology, capabilities and reach. That work includes its commitment pf up to $25 million in seed funding to establish the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the UK Government and others to help speed up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by discovering, developing and scaling-up treatments for deployment around the world. It has committed $250 million in financial, technology, product and services support over the next five years to small businesses in the United States and other markets where it operates, supporting the vitality of businesses and the financial security of their workers. Mastercard is working with partners to potentially enable the delivery of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans who hold reloadable prepaid cards, including those who participate in the US Treasury Department’s Direct Express® programme. They can then use those cards to shop online, or in person, without having to take the risks today associated with exchanging paper money. It is using its prepaid card capability to transition 50,000 unbanked pensioners in Israel to cards so they no longer need to go to the post office to pick up checks. Mastercard is working with governments like the UK and Chile to facilitate stimulus support for individuals and small businesses. It is launching a programme in India to drive the success of entrepreneurs, increase access to markets for farmers and unlock the economic potential of women.