MeitY's Common Services Centers Partners With PayPal To Fight Against COVID Pandemic In Rural India

Five vans to be deployed across four states to create awareness about following COVID prevention norms, antigen testing, basic COVID-19 medicine kits, registration for vaccination, and delivery of essential goods

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The Common Services Centers of the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has partnered with PayPal to offer immediate COVID-relief facilities and drive awareness campaigns regarding prevention and care against the COVID pandemic in rural India.

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PayPal will support the CSC Academy, CSR wing of CSC, in setting up PSA oxygen plants in five hospitals in four States – one each in Bengaluru (Karnataka), Chennai (TN), and Jaunpur (UP) and two in Patna (Bihar). These plants will be fully automated, designed to work unattended with minimum start-up time to generate oxygen with the desired purity within minutes.

“PayPal firmly stands with the Indian Government to help them in their efforts towards fighting this pandemic. We have been working closely with Meity and CSC on several initiatives over the years. We have now extended this partnership to promote COVID appropriate behavior, availability of medical facilities, and expansion of the vaccination drive across tier-II cities. One of the key highlights of this partnership is to assist citizens with no access to smartphones to register and avail of the vaccine through CSC’s village-level entrepreneur network. The vaccination expansion will play a critical role in helping India fight the pandemic,” said Nath Parameshwaran, director, corporate affairs, PayPal India.

Mobile vans, sponsored by PayPal, will create awareness and provide services like antigen testing, registration for vaccination, basic COVID medicine kits, and essential provisions in Karnataka, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Himachal Pradesh.

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of our community is paramount in these times. Smaller cities and towns with limited access to resources are in dire need of immediate COVID relief and support. We have partnered with CSC SPV and CSC Academy to provide medical facilities, drive awareness about preventive methods, and inculcate COVID appropriate behavior amongst the rural population. Our partnership will broaden the reach of the awareness drive and help provide the necessary support to those impacted by the crisis. It is upon us to work collectively to fight the pandemic and to come together and support each other,” expressed Guru Bhat, vice president, customer success platform, PayPal.

The Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) of CSC will manage these vans and help those without a smartphone to register for vaccination. They will also provide antigen testing and basic COVID-19 care medicine kits.

“CSC has always been at the forefront of social behavior change campaigns initiated by the Government. This partnership with PayPal will enable a deeper outreach in rural areas with immediate COVID relief measures like antigen testing, registration for vaccination, access to medicine kits, cash withdrawal, and supply of essential provisions at their doorsteps. It will also help us sustain a COVID Appropriate Behavior awareness campaign in rural communities to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. CSC telemedicine platform can support citizens in getting advice from doctors to deal with this pandemic. Even after testing negative, COVID patients can get support through telemedicine,” remarked Dr. Dinesh Tyagi, managing director, CSC SPV, while elaborating on the partnership.

The vans will also be equipped with oxygen cylinders to be used in emergencies and give citizens access to telemedicine consultations with doctors through CSC. Besides this, the vans will be equipped with a cash withdrawal facility through DigiPay and supply essential provisions to citizens through CSC Grameen eStoreat their doorstep.

“The need of the hour is to provide appropriate and validated information about COVID prevention and management in rural and semi-urban India as the second wave of the pandemic is hitting these areas. Through this initiative, we will be able to address this information gap, while providing access to services and medical needs that have been disrupted by the pandemic,” added Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, chief executive officer, CSC SPV.

PayPal will also support CSC Academy in training 50,000 VLEs, including 40,000 women VLEs, as COVID Appropriate Behavior (CAB) Ambassadors to raise awareness about preventive measures against COVID-19.