These 5 Startups Are Strengthening India's Fight Against Oxygen Shortage
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As the second wave of COVID-19 batters the unprepared largest country of the world, India gasps for basic elements to live – Oxygen– an element whose importance was taught to us when we were in class 2.
The second wave has obliterated India’s healthcare system which is falling short of beds, exposing the penurious healthcare infrastructure, understaffed healthcare workers and handful of doctors to treat millions and millions of citizens which the government over the course have tried to conceal. Shortage of oxygen is the new low in the healthcare system. Doctors are pleading, even moving to high courts seeking supply of oxygen. As some industrialists have diverted oxygen from their plants to hospitals, the startup community, too, has found a way to help those in distress.
Here is a look at some of the startups or startup-made groups facilitating oxygen and other essentials to those in need.
Mission Oxygen: Democratic People Foundation
Founded by Rahul Aggarwal and Varun Aggarwal of Designhill, Uday Anand, founder of Crush Fitness India, Shiker Gupta, founder of Cuttlefish , Rahul Hari Saxena, founder of Satvacart, Democratic People Foundation has started an initiative called ‘Mission Oxygen’ to help hospitals across the country to get oxygen concentrators. The body, which is raising its funds through Ketto.org, has till now raised around INR 10.8 crore and has managed to procure 1,300 concentrators from China and will be delivered to hospitals from April 29. Various celebrities including Farhan Akhtar, Tapsee Panu, Kunal Kapoor have asked people to donate. Indian entrepreneurs have also supported the cause.
Developed by three IIT-Delhi graduates, CovRelief is a platform which allows users to live track hospital beds, oxygen and plasma. The platform has quickly become a saviour with netizens pouring their gratitude towards the platform on social media. Milan Roy, Swapnil Mishra and Pranit Ganvir-led platform was also promoted by celebrities such as Katrina Kaif, Pooja Bedi, among others.
Kunal Shah-led CRED, which recently entered the prestigious Unicorn club, announced that its users can now donate CRED coins towards buying oxygen concentrators for hospitals and healthcare organization across the country. The company is targeting to provide one billion litres of oxygen and has partnered with Milaap to ensure contributions reach the required hospitals.
Digital payments provider Paytm has announced that Paytm Foundation will acquire and import over 3,000 oxygen concentrators to meet the oxygen shortage in the country. It has launched a nationwide 'Oxygen for India' initiative to create more awareness about the issue. Paytm Foundation has already placed an order for importing 1,000 Oxygen Concentrators worth INR 4 crore, it is aiming to further raise over INR 10 crore. The company has also asked its users to donate and has pledged to match every rupee contribution by users. It has raised over INR 1.5 crore within hours of starting the campaign, thus totalling the amount to INR 3 crore
Sahil Barua led Delhivery has announced flying charters into India with oxygen and other essential services from Singapore.
Act Grants is founded by startup founders and marquee venture capitals to help the country tide over the pandemic. The body is now working with Amazon, Temasek Foundation and Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response (PPCR) to airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines from Singapore. Amazon is said to incur the cost of airlifting these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP which are being bought by ACT Grants and PPCR.