India Inc spent over Rs 1,600 crore to combat the devastating impact of the second coronavirus wave. More than 350 larger companies launched over 750 corporate social responsibility initiatives in response to the second wave. As many as 35 per cent of these interventions were implemented in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh, stated a report.
The report, CSR Response to COVID 2.0, released by CSR knowledge and impact intelligence platform CSRBOX, stated that 57 per cent of such initiatives were targeted at direct beneficiaries or COVID-19 infected people. More than 400 corporate initiatives were directed at procuring medical supplies, ventilators, and safety gear like PPE kits. Computer/Software/IT, Power & Heavy Engineering, Oil, Drilling Lubricants and Petrochemicals, Cement and Auto Industries had the maximum number of initiatives.
The report suggests that India Inc provided over 200 oxygen plants, set up more than 75 makeshift hospitals and wards with more than 10,000 beds, 3,500 ventilators and 1,40,000 oxygen concentrators.
Out of the responding companies, 75 per cent were BSE/NSE listed, 20 per cent were private and 5 per cent were PSUs. Awareness campaigns, setting up of funds, health infrastructure support, research and development or innovation, food and ration kit distribution, third-party fundraiser, and medical and safety gear supply were the ways India Inc contributed.
Apart from the COVID-19 infected, key target groups of these initiatives were persons with disability, non-government essential workers like maids, drivers etc., medical and hospital staff, migrant and wage workers, essential government workers such as police, bankers etc., and rural communities.
“Corporates have responded to COVID with great urgency and remarkable flexibility, fast-tracking CSR project approvals for the timely procurement of essential medical supplies, working in tandem with central, state governments and local agencies. We have witnessed unprecedented involvement by corporate India in responding to the situation on the ground,” said founder and CEO of CSRBOX, Bhomik Shah.
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