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India Inc steps up health infrastructure aid

MUMBAI: India Inc has stepped up its efforts to contribute to the country’s healthcare infrastructure in the wake of the second wave of Covid.
HDFC Bank, under its Parivartan programme, will set up and enhance medical infrastructure across the country to assist the fight against the coronavirus. The bank said it has committed Rs 100 crore as an initial amount for Covid relief in FY22. This is in addition to the Rs 120 crore the bank spent in FY21.
The money will be used to set up 20 oxygen plants attached to hospitals, three 100-bed Covid-care facilities, isolation centres and provide medical equipment & supplies to over 200 hospitals across the country.
The Piramal Foundation said it will invest Rs 100 crore for Covid relief in partnership with NITI Aayog. This initiative will reach over 1.2 lakh people in 4 districts of Maharashtra and 20 lakh people across the country. It will also set up 100 Covid-care centres in tribal and rural blocks across India that currently have poor access to health services.
The initiative targets providing 20 lakh patients home care support for asymptomatic, mild-symptom cases to reduce pressure on the overburdened health system.
Chemical company UPL also announced that it has set up oxygen plants at eight hospitals in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, UP and Delhi. The company converted four of its nitrogen production plants in Gujarat, to produce and deliver oxygen to four hospitals in Gujarat and UP.
Earlier, this month, Hindustan Unilever airlifted 4,000 oxygen concentrators into India to address the acute shortage of medical oxygen. The total contribution comes to around Rs 38 crore.
HUL has partnered with KVN Foundation and home health care company Portea, to promptly make the O2 concentrators available to needy patients.
Under what it has termed ‘Mission HO2PE’, the oxygen concentrators have been sent to some of the worst affected cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore, among others.
While Portea has access to 3,000 concentrators, which are being provided free of charge to patients. The remaining have been donated by HUL to hospitals in nearly 20 locations across India.
Besides, the company is facilitating as well as covering the cost for vaccination of its outer core of around 300,000 people including those who work for suppliers, distributors as well as Shakti Ammas in rural areas.
On the other hand, Delhi based, industrial conglomerate JK Group, comprising of companies such as JK Tyre, JK Paper, JK Lakshmi Cement, JK Fenner, JK Agri Genetics, Umang Dairy, PSRI Hospital etc. has announced its initiative ‘JK CARES’, (Covid Assistance, Relief & Support) – a comprehensive Covid 19 relief package for the dependent family of deceased employee across the organization, in which the group will make an overall contribution of over Rs 15 crore.
JK Group chairman Bharat Hari Singhania said, “Safety and wellbeing of our employees is of utmost importance for us. As part of our value of caring for people, we have been extremely mindful of the need to provide extended support to the families of our beloved employees, who have unfortunately lost their lives. In case of any casualty of any of our employees, we will support the bereaved families on three fronts – financial support for the family by way of continuance of salary, education support for children and medical insurance for the family. All these support systems will be provided to the families for a number of years.”
Under this relief initiative, the aim is to provide support to the affected families, in case of any casualty(ies) of the employee(s), due to Covid between April 2020 and until March 2022, thus covering both the waves of Covid 19.

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