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COVID-19 in India: Google to provide Rs 113 cr to build oxygen plants, train rural healthcare workers

The tech giant will also invest in Apollo Medskills' initiative to upskill 20,000 frontline health workers in COVID-19 management. Google.org aims to help the stressed rural health workforce and health systems

Google will provide Rs 3.6 crore grant to ARMMAN Google will provide Rs 3.6 crore grant to ARMMAN

Google's philanthropic arm Google.org announced on Thursday that it will provide Rs 109 crore ($15 million) to India to assist in the fight against coronavirus. The fund will be used to support procurement and installation of around 80 oxygen generation plants in healthcare facilities in high-need and rural locations. The funds will go to GiveIndia and PATH. The two organisations will oversee the oxygen programme and provide project management support. PATH, Google.org said, will identify the target locations and provide technical assistance and work with state governments as well as other authorities.

The tech giant will also invest in Apollo Medskills' initiative to upskill 20,000 frontline health workers in COVID-19 management. Google.org aims to help the stressed rural health workforce and health systems.

Google.org will also provide Rs 3.6 crore ($500,000) grant to non-profit ARMMAN that will run upskilling programmes for 180,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and 40,000 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in 15 states.

"Our hearts go out to those in India impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and we continue to look for ways to help. Today @Googleorg will provide an additional $15.5 million to build oxygen generation plants and train healthcare workers in rural India," said CEO Sundar Pichai.

Country Head and VP, Sanjay Gupta said, "As the pandemic has unfolded in India, it's been humbling and inspiring to see individuals, communities, institutions, and governments work together to manage the impact of a crisis on a scale we haven't experienced before. Technology has played a critical role, and our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need to stay informed, connected, and safe."

This round of grants come after Google.org announced Rs 135 crore ($18 million) in April to expand the reach of public health information campaigns and support emergency relief work. It said that as India emerges from the crisis, Google.org now turns its focus to strengthen India's healthcare infrastructure and workforce, especially in rural areas.

Also read: Google saves $1 billion a year from WFH due to COVID-19