As the reality of the pandemic is setting into everybody’s mind and psyche, we see more organisations coming forward to do as much as they can to help make the lives of those deeply affected by this, comfortable and safe. These contributions in cash and in-kind have made a difference during this lockdown period. We share their stories with you today.
Financial contribution by Padma Bhushan Awardee, Dr Ajai Chowdhry
In wake of the ongoing nation-wide lockdown to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support the National Capital Territory of Delhi in its response against the deadly virus, Dr Ajai Chowdhry, a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award, has contributed INR 1.2 Crore. The funds have gone towards arranging 80,000 meals for the poor and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for 7,000 doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers in Delhi.
Commenting on the same, Dr Ajai Chowdhry said, “It is time for us to collectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in our best capacity. Governments, private entities, and philanthropic organizations must come together to act swiftly to ensure food and medical aid is made available to those who need it the most. Delhi is my city and I’m proud to be of some help in this moment of crisis. I will continue to support the ongoing efforts to fight this epidemic in any way I can.”
Dr Chowdhry is also the Founder of Swayam Charitable Trust and a Trustee of SaveLIFE Foundation.
Piyush Tewari, CEO and Founder, SaveLIFE Foundation said, “Dr Chowdhry’s selfless contribution towards fighting the COVID-19 epidemic in Delhi is a great example for philanthropists across India to follow. There’s indeed much that all of us can do together to save lives and keep our communities safe.”
Khabri, India’s first digital audio content platform in the regional language, has rolled out an exclusive COVID-19 helpline portal/platform to attend the blind masses across India during these testing times. As a part of the initiative, Khabri will provide aid to this segment with expert inputs from domains including medical, psychological, social or financial.
Corporate houses, as well as the Government, can also be a part of this initiative, by contributing their bit either in the form of donations or any other help they can render. Through this initiative, the company also aims to raise awareness and strives to sensitise others around the same. Those in need can directly contact the team of Khabri on 9810511211, mobile, Whatsapp or reach them through the Khabri official App.
Emphasising the need to raise awareness in the current situation, Sandeep Singh, President and Co-founder, Khabri, said, “While privileged masses can ensure compliance to social distancing, a large group of blind and visually-impaired is facing a plethora of challenges – be it social, medical or psychological. During these unprecedented times, they need the utmost care as their entire life revolves around touching and sensing. With our helpline portal, we endeavour to reach this cohort and address their problems. Besides this, we are also planning to hold live sessions with experts for direct interaction and make sure that the community of blind and visually-impaired is not left behind.”
Commenting on the same, Honorary Secretary In-Charge, Shri S.K. Singh, NAB said, “We are glad to see that organizations like Khabri are thinking about us during these difficult times. The helpline portal comes as a huge relief to the community of blind people across the country and further gives them hope to stand stronger in this scenario. Blinds have a different set of problems in addition to normal people which will now be noticed and addressed with Khabri’s help. We would like to thank Khabri and its entire team to turn this brilliant idea into a possible reality.”
Khabri is also set to launch a dedicated content channel, live counselling session and a celebrity-led talk show to further its commitment towards empowering the blind community across India.
Vestige has tied up with the Delhi Government to provide food supplies to 25,000 families. These will be distributed within Delhi. The Company is also distributing health supplements to build immunity to these families.
Gautam Bali, Managing Director, Vestige Marketing Pvt. Ltd said, “Inda and the world at large are in the middle of a public health crisis which is resulting in a huge socio-economic challenge across all levels. It is at times such as these that we are putting forward our best efforts where we can make a difference. At Vestige, we have always taken our social responsibilities very seriously. To humbly lend our hand to the ongoing national effort in battling and winning the COVID-19 war, we are offering meaningful support to those who are in dire need of help today. To begin with, we are providing our wide range of effective nutritional supplements, free of cost, to the most vulnerable segments of our society. In addition, we have joined hands with the Government of Delhi to distribute one month of essential food supplies to 25,000 families. It is often that a crisis brings out the best in all of us and together, I sincerely believe, we shall rise to the occasion to emerge stronger than ever before.”
SUN TV Group
In an expression of solidarity with the nation’s collective fight against the dreaded virus, the employees of Sun TV and other affiliated Group companies numbering more than 6,000 will also contribute one day’s salary.
The said money will be donated for several initiatives currently underway at various states of India including the following:
Donations to the various programmes initiated by the Government of India and state governments.
Partnering with NGOs that are providing succour to migrant labour displaced from their livelihoods and other initiatives related to COVID-19 relief work.
Financial assistance to daily wage earners, working either directly or indirectly associated with TV, movie industry and other allied activities.
In addition, the group is actively exploring other options to leverage its resources including all its media assets so that greater awareness can be spread among millions of viewers across India and the rest of the world.
According to a UNESCO report, over 290 million students across 22 countries will be impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. In such a scenario, virtual learning comes to rescue but it also poses certain challenges for educators who are not proficient in online teaching methodology. Hence, to break this barrier and aid both teachers and students, Pearson, the world’s leading learning company has taken the initiative to upskill teachers in online teaching techniques. Pearson conducted pan-India online training sessions for over 500 teachers across 30 schools, empowering them to use online learning platforms and teach students digitally during this critical time. Important topics like Lesson Planning, Strategies to improve Reading and Writing skills in English, Interactive strategies to teach Science and Social Science, Strategies to make Mathematics learning (Fun)tastics, Phonics, How to plan and execute an online class in an engaging and interactive manner etc. were covered during these sessions.
The company has also announced free access to ‘ActiveApp’ – Pearson’s unique interactive digital experience mobile app – to support teachers with training resources. The app offers interactive learning to students through e-books, videos, activities, games and animations, empowering them to learn easily, in a fun and engaging way. The benefits of the app also include any time anywhere access, user-friendly interface, self-paced learning and quick recapitulation.
Ramananda SG, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Pearson India, said, “The restrictions on mobility, owing to the lockdown, have created a gap between students and teachers, impacting the learning of children at schools and other educational institutions. Our efforts are aimed at easing the challenges being faced by educators in teaching over digital modes of learning, especially in Tier 2 cities. These sessions will empower educators and students in continuing their learning curve and ensure proper utilization of their time. Additionally, access to ActiveApp will support parents in keeping their children engaged in learning, as they juggle between working from home and managing household chores. Our endeavour is to support teachers and parents at this critical time by ensuring continuity of learning for children.”
Users can easily set up ‘ActiveApp’ on their device by downloading it through PlayStore/AppStore and register to create an account. For activation, users will be required to click on ‘+’ icon and enter the code shared by the school or mentioned on the inner back of the textbook.
Blue Dart, India’s leading express logistics service provider and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), operates 6 dedicated Boeing 757 freighters each with a capacity of 34 tons. These have been operating during the lockdown period across Indian cities enabling essential shipments – medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, reach the first responders in hospitals and medical institutions with the promise of secure and timely deliveries.
In order to provide customers with a solution for their shipping needs during these trying times and to further use our Air Express Logistics service to keep the essential supply chain continuity, Blue Dart Express has reduced its Retail Tariff Prices by 25 per cent. This will be applicable to all local retail customers as well as all MSMEs.
Commenting on the same, Ketan Kulkarni CMO & Head Business Development said, “Blue Dart’s ‘FIGHT COVID-19 – PRICE (FC19-P)’ is a unique initiative and our duty towards the nation in these times of crisis. We have always stepped up as a “First In Last Out” organisation whenever a disaster has struck the nation. Our aircrafts are the lifeline of the nation and our nation is grappling with a situation never experienced earlier and this has a widespread impact on the economy. Businesses across sectors and geographies are disrupted due to mobility suspension.
He further added the (FC19-P) is an effective platform to offer a speedy and hassle-free experience when dispatching and delivering testing kits, reagents, enzymes, medical equipment (ventilators), masks, respirators, surgical masks, gloves, & other items, some of which are manufactured by the MSME sector and delivering them to the point of consumption was a challenge for them.
Blue Dart has listed itself on the dedicated Medical Air Cargo website www.civilaviation.gov.in
WTC GIFT City
The nationwide lockdown has created panic amongst migrant workers, who are left with no resources. The Gujarat government announced that migrant labourers would not be allowed to travel back to their hometown during the lockdown period and would be providing food and accommodation. The State government has also introduced a helpline number (1077) which can be contacted for help.
Ashish Arora, Director-Distribution, Viridian RED, said, “The country is facing challenging times, and in such a situation, WTC GIFT City stands with the community they work with. Ensuring safe accommodations for these workers, the company has created isolated shelter huts at the site. The company is also facilitating food and medical assistance to all workers present at the site of WTC GIFT City.”
Being a responsible corporate, WTC GIFT City has also created an emergency ‘Cover-19 Fund’ in response to any contingencies that may emerge.
The company is creating awareness on social distancing amongst the workers. The sanitization processes along with all necessary precautions are also being followed diligently at the site area.
Being a responsible corporate, WTC Noida is committed to protecting the community they work with. Extending their support to all construction workers at the sites, the company has created an emergency ‘Cover-19 Fund’ in response to any contingencies that may emerge.
Ashish Arora, Director-Distribution, Viridian RED, said, “To protect all the workers and ensure their safety, provision of food, medical and shelters are created at the site of WTC Noida. Besides that, social distancing is followed with proper demarcation has been done for regular movement. Regular medical check-ups, isolate shelter huts and medical supplies are also taken care of by the company.”
The company has been taking care of all necessary precautions along with the regular sanitisation process at the site area.
Amid the report of many migrant labourers getting stranded across State borders, these initiatives by WTC Noida have brought relief to their workers at the site.