Indian Corporates Earmark Funds to Fight Coronavirus
Through monetary donation and medical infrastructure support, Reliance Industries, Mahindra Group and Paytm, among others have come forward to aid the fight against coronavirus
Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries (RIL) has laid out a multi-pronged action plan to fight against Covid-19 or coronavirus outbreak in the country. The group has deployed the strengths of its subsidiaries—Reliance Foundation, Retail, Jio, Life Sciences—on this action plan that aims to provide preventive and supportive medical aid against the deadly virus, as per a company statement.
To address the growing demand for fully-equipped infrastructure required for treating patients who test positive for Covid-19, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, managed by the CSR arm of the group, in collaboration with the BMC, has set up a 100-bedded centre at Seven Hills hospital Mumbai. The beds will be equipped with required infrastructure and bio medical equipment, such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
The group has built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and has also offered to set up quarantine facilities in Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation hospital for travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing. In another measure, the Reliance Foundation in partnership with NGOs will provide free meals to people across cities whose livelihood has been hit by the lockdown.
As part of other measures, RIL has pledged an initial support of INR 5 crore to Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and stepped up its production capacities to produce 1 lakh face masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipments (PPEs), such as suits and garments, for healthworkers.
Mahindra Will Make Ventilators
The Mahindra Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of the Mahindra Group, will create a separate fund to back those hardest hit in the value chain, including small businesses and the self-employed, due to the coronavirus outbreak, chairman Anand Mahindra announced on 22 March.
He took to twitter on Sunday to make the announcement: “I will contribute 100 per cent of my salary to it and will add more over the next few months.” The billionaire businessman urged other businesses to also set aside contributions for those who are the hardest hit in their ecosystems.
Mahindra expressed his concern over increasing threat of the pandemic and its strain on the medical care in the country in a series of tweets. “We need to create scores of temporary hospitals and we have a scarcity of ventilators”, he tweeted.
Addressing the growing need for critical care medical equipments to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Mahindra also plans to make ventilators in its manufacturing units.
Additionally, he proposed to convert some of the Mahindra Holiday resorts into temporary quarantine facilities, if need arises and assist the government and the Army in erecting temporary care facilities.
Likewise, Anil Agarwal, executive chairman of Vedanta Resources, has committed INR 100 crore to fight the pandemic. “Many people are facing uncertainty and I’m especially concerned about the daily wage earners, we will do our bit to help,” he said.
On behalf of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced INR 5 crore for teams working on COVID related medical solutions. He tweeted in response to an appeal from a professor in Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru for a biomedical engineer who can assist in putting together a ventilator using Indian resources on an emergency basis.
These announcements come at a time when confirmed cases in the country are doubling by the day. To control the spread of the virus, at least 83 districts in the country have been put under a complete lockdown until 31 March. At the time of publication, total number of confirmed cases in India stand at 433 while 7 deaths have been reported.