India INC Rises To The Occasion, Opens Up Its Purse Strings

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The India Inc. too stood up and be counted in helping the flood-devastated Kerala and its people. All the top business leaders and captains of industry announced immediate relief in terms of money and materials.

So far, the biggest donor was the Adani Foundation, with 25 crore for immediate relief, and another 25 crore committed for rehabilitation and resettlement. The parent group’s employees have pledged a day’s salary to Kerala. The foundation’s members are working in remote areas of the state distributing relief materials.

The Reliance Foundation contributed 21 crore, and also has placed relief teams on the ground. RF has committed to setting up medical camps with Malayalam-speaking doctors and paramedical staff, supplying medicines to the government for use by district authorities, and providing construction equipment and skilled workers to repair or rebuild public infrastructure. The parent group has contributed relief material close to 50 crore, mostly through Reliance Retail.

It is not just the private sector even the public sector undertakings, individuals, government servants and private sector employees too pitched in with their contributions, Other significant corporate donors to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund are the Kerala State Electricity Board (25cr), ICICI Bank (8cr), Ramco Cements (2cr), TVS Motors (1.5cr), Hero Motors, MRF, Muthoot Finance, Sun TV, and TV Sundram Iyengar & Sons (1cr each). And VIT University, Vellore, sent 1 crore. The Mumbai-based Jyothi Laboratories, whose promoters hail from the state, donated 1.28 crore.

Also from West Asia, Dubai-based Fathi Health Care Group and Abir Group of Saudi Arabia donated 1 crore each. Axis Bank donated 2 crore and committed another 3 crore for rehabilitation through partner NGOs.

Employees of GAIL contributed a day’s salary, 1.54 crore. The PSU oil companies donated 25 crore, the Seafood Exporters Association sent 1.15 crore. CII-Telangana said member companies, including TCS, ITC PSPD, Gati, Shree Malani Group, Ankur Biscuits, Ravi Foods, and a few individual donors had sent over 23 tonnes of relief material, and two RO plants from Tata Projects, which can purify 1,000 litres an hour.

Kerala-based Josco Jewellers contributed 2.5 crore and Kalyan Jewellers 1.1 crore.

The others who pitched in with their technology to help in relief and rescue operations include the technology majors like Google, retailer Amazon, Microsoft, Bigbasket and the like.

Google’s Geo platform and Google Developers Experts issued warnings of closed roads across the most affected districts. Google also activated its Person Finder in English and
Malayalam — about 22,000 records were checked at last count, a Google statement said.

Retailer Amazon India is facilitating non-profits Habitat for Humanity India, World Vision India, and Goonj, and encouraging customers to donate relief goods to them through its platform. The company said employees have donated lakhs of rupees through. 

Microsoft is also encouraging donations from its employees from their August salaries, and the company will match that sum, which would fund Oxfam India relief assistance. Similarly, German software-maker SAP has sent out a batch of supplies through HOPE Foundation to the most affected places.

E-commerce major Flipkart and online grocery firms Grofers and Bigbasket are asking people to donate to NGO Goonj.

A Eureka Forbes statement said it sent 16000 water bottles and also collaborated with Habitat India.

Reliance Digital said it would tie up with manufacturers for repair clinics for appliances, with free labour and materials at cost. Reliance Jio has given its Kerala customers free seven-day packages. Idea Cellular has set up call booths at relief camps in the most-affected areas to help people make free calls and waived SIM replacement charges till August 31.

Several Malayali organisations in different cities across the globe collected money and material and sent them to Kerala for immediate relief.