As the country grapples with increasing number of coronavirus cases, Bharti Airtel has contributed Rs 100 crore to the PM-CARES Fund and the procurement of other essential items including masks and personal protective equipment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the emergency relief fund on Saturday last week to invite contributions from the citizens as the country continues to battle COVID-19. The telecom giant is among scores of big contributors including Tata Sons, Reliance Industry, Paytm, Adani, L&T, JSW Group, among others who have pledged to help in India's fight against the deadly virus.
"These are extremely challenging times as the world battles the biggest healthcare crisis of the modern era in the form of COVID-19 epidemic. As a nation, our immediate priority is to collectively support the efforts of the government to mitigate the impact of this crisis," Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
Bharti Enterprises, along with its subsidiaries Bharti Airtel, Bharti Infratel and others, will make this contribution collectively. "A significant portion of the corpus will be immediately contributed to the PM-CARES Fund," the company said. It added the balance amount was being directed towards sourcing of masks, PPE and other key equipment for the doctors, healthcare workers and essential services personnel who are at the forefront of this massive battle.
"Over a million N-95 masks are being procured and will be made available on an immediate basis," the company said.
Bharti Airtel employees will also make personal voluntary contributions towards the cause through a platform set up by the company. "Bharti companies will match the amount contributed by their employees, and the same will be contributed towards the COVID-19 initiatives," the company added. The company said its network teams were working round the clock to ensure India's digital backbone continued to operate seamlessly and people stayed connected.
Reliance Industries on Monday donated Rs 500 crore to PM's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) Fund. The company has also scaled up its capacities to produce one lakh masks and thousands of protective gear for health workers daily.
Last week, RIL started a 100-bed dedicated hospital in Mumbai as part of its initiatives against coronavirus. On March 28, Tata Sons had announced Rs 1,500 crore support towards the coronavirus fund, including Rs 500 crore by the Tata Trusts.
India on Monday reported the biggest single-day spike in new COVID-19 cases. It reported 227 new cases taking the total tally to 1,385. Out of this, 101 have been cured and discharged from hospitals. The death tally stood at 32 till March 30, according to Health Ministry data.
Edited by Manoj Sharma