City News COVID-19 Gathered

Bajaj pledges Rs 100cr, Godrej Rs 50cr

MUMBAI: The Bajaj Group has committed Rs 100 crore to India’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease. The funds will be used to upgrade “key” healthcare infrastructure, provide basic essentials to the needy and to support economic aid programme in rural areas. “Working with the government and our network of 200-plus NGO partners, we will ensure these resources reach those who need it the most,” said Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj.
The Godrej Group has earmarked Rs 50 crore for community support and relief initiatives. “This is an initial outlay and we hope to supplement it over time,” said Godrej & Boyce chairman Jamshyd Godrej in an e-mail to employees.
Bajaj, the vehicle maker-to-financial services provider, is the fourth enterprise to set aside Rs 100 crore to combat the outbreak in the country. Earlier, Vedanta, Axis Bank and Hindustan Unilever pledged Rs 100 crore each for public healthcare and other initiatives.
The Bajaj Group will use the funds to upgrade ICUs at government hospitals, procure medical devices such as ventilators (which are in huge demand), enhance testing capacities and to set up isolation facilities. The healthcare infrastructure support will be mainly in Pune, where the group is headquartered, and in nearby areas.
Bajaj, 81, added that in the last few weeks, there has been a reverse migration to villages. “We are thus committing a significant portion of our support towards an economic aid programme in rural areas, which includes a direct survival grant, followed by a livelihood intervention using a revolving fund model.”
Jamshyd Godrej said the Covid-19-solidarity response fund will back initiatives focused on public health and essential supplies. Godrej Group has donated 115 beds to government hospitals in Maharashtra, which accounts for 21% of coronavirus cases, and has also helped set up a 75-bed quarantine centre at Seven Hills hospital in Mumbai. Additionally, it will donate medical equipment and protective supplies to the government agencies, the soaps-to-real estate enterprise said.

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