With the COVID-19 situation in India getting worse with the second wave, the country is recording more than 3 lakh cases daily for the fifth consecutive day amidst an acute shortage of beds, healthcare infrastructure, equipment, and oxygen. In its battle against the second wave, the government has received an unexpected ally in the form of Google, which pledged ₹135 crores in new funding for medical supplies and support in India to help with the pandemic.
Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google & Googlers are providing Rs 135 Crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information.https://t.co/OHJ79iEzZH
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 26, 2021
Pichai tweeted on Monday about the ₹135 crore pandemic relief funding, including two grants from Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org.
The total amount from these grants is ₹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 pandemic.
In an official blog post, Google informed that they would provide “cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses.” UNICEF, on the other hand, will utilize the funds from Google to “get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India.” It also includes donations from Google’s ongoing employee giving campaign — with the company noting that so far more than 900 Googlers have contributed ₹3.7 Crore ($500,000) for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities.
“Our Google community and their families are feeling the devastating impact, too. We’re asking ourselves what more we can do as a company to ensure people get the information and support they need to keep their families and communities healthy and safe,” Google India Country Head Sanjay Gupta wrote in the blog post.
The company said that the funding includes more Ad Grant support (about 83% of the ₹135 crores) 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 said.
It is not just Google itself that has come to stand beside India during such a tough time. More than 900 Google employees have paid a total of ₹3.7 crores out of their own pockets for organizations catering to high-risk and marginalized communities(as we mentioned before).
Considering that the government is fighting a losing battle where more than 3 lakh cases are being recorded daily, all aid is now welcome.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stepped forward to aid India as well, saying that he was heartbroken with the current situation in India.
“I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing to help. “Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices,” he tweeted.