The Aditya Birla Group Friday said it has donated ₹400 crore to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund, besides setting aside ₹100 crore towards its own corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative and for the supply of N95 masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.
“Given the severity of the disruption, there is a compelling need for a multi-pronged response that includes financial and material support, healthcare assistance and community responsibility," Rajashree Birla, chairperson of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, said in a press release.
The $48.3 billion business conglomerate, led by billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, which runs multiple businesses in 14 industry sectors including fashion retail, telecommunication, chemicals and financial services, plans to donate ₹50 crore to FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence for covid-19 relief measures, while the remaining ₹50 crore will be used to supply one million N95 masks, 2.8 lakh PPE, and ventilators. The group said it had already started production of one million triple-layer surgical masks and one lakh coverall garments with the support of the textiles ministry, and was involved with community and self-help groups in home production of lakhs of masks across several locations.
The group also plans to activate a 100-bed covid-19 facility at Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai, in partnership with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. It has also earmarked more than 200 beds for covid-19 patients across locations including Ujjain, Pune, Hazaribagh, Rayagada, Solapur, and Kharach.
It also plans to launch awareness camps across 200 locations and hold door-to-door campaigns to reinforce the message of prevention.
The donation by Aditya Birla Group comes amid many other such donations made by Indian corporates as part of CSR spending, which companies are mandated to make, to combat the spread of the disease in the country.
Corporate, government and philanthropic entities, including the Airports Authority of India, Wipro Ltd, Tata Trust and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), as well as business leaders such as Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal and Anand Mahindra, have pledged financial support for various activities to fight the pandemic. RIL has begun production of face masks, while the Mahindra Group is producing ventilators.