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Google pledges Rs 135 crore in funding to help India fight Covid-19

Google is providing a grant of Rs 135 crore to organisations helping people in the Covid-19 times in India.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | April 26, 2021 | Updated 11:00 IST
India is reporting over 3 lakh cases daily (Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced Rs 135 crore in new funding.
  • Around Rs 20 crore is coming from the Google.org foundation.
  • Over 900 Google employees have also donated to the funding.

As the Covid-19 crisis intensifies in India, tech companies are coming forward to offer help. Google has now announced Rs 135 crore in new funding for India, including two grants from Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the tech giant. The total amount from these grants is Rs 20 crore. The first one will go to GiveIndia while the second fund is for UNICEF, both of which will help in procuring medical supplies and help families affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Not only the company, but many Google employees, called Googlers, have donated to the fund.

In a post, Google has announced GiveIndia will "provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses." The global agency, UNICEF, will utilise the funds from Google to "get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it's needed most in India." India is facing an acute shortage of medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators, as the Covid-19 positive cases are piling up by the hundred on a daily basis. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, tweeted Monday saying, "Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India." This comes right after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella committed support to India during the crisis.

The new funding from Google includes Rs 3.7 crore from over 900 Googlers, who have come forward to help India at a time when the Covid-19 cases are rising dramatically. Google has said that the funding also includes increased Ad Grant support for public health campaigns, which are aimed at educating and informing people about Covid-19. "Since last year, we've helped MyGov and the World Health Organization reach audiences with messages focused on how to stay safe and facts about vaccines," Google has said in the statement. With the new funding, the Ad Grants are getting Rs 112 crore. This fund will be directed at local health authorities and nonprofit organisations "for more language coverage options."

As a part of the new funding, Google will improve localisation and highlight authoritative information in community apps such as Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube, and Google Ads. This would mean that the content in these apps will be available in more local languages with more useful information. These apps already support eight Indian languages, besides English. And after the outbreak, Google revamped apps such as Google Maps and Google Search to include information on Covid-19 testing centres, vaccination centres, and other details issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In addition to partnering with the Indian ministry, Google is working closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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