IN view of the extension of the lockdown in several Indian states, which will prolong the hardships faced by the disadvantaged sections of the society, Essar Foundation, the CSR arm of the $14-billion Essar Group, has decided to increase its ongoing commitment of providing 1.25 million meals to two million meals to the poor and needy affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in India.
The Foundation has already provided almost 8 lakh meals to vulnerable sections of the society, including the homeless, daily wage earners, trans-genders, and women with a background of domestic violence. Of this, 20,000 meals per day are earmarked for the Maharashtra CM’s Relief Fund. Apart from the provision for daily meals, Essar Foundation has also donated the following as part of its campaign to augment Covid-19 relief efforts:
- 150,000 masks (N95 & 3Ply) and sanitisers to hospitals, police stations, and BMC workers
- 5,000 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to hospitals and police stations
The relief material is being distributed across Maharashtra, the state most acutely affected by the pandemic, and in the vicinity states like Gujarat, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. In South Mumbai, which has been declared as a Covid-19 hotspot, the Foundation has been providing essential medical supplies to several, government and private hospitals, as well as police stations.
“As one of India’s leading corporates, we feel it is incumbent on us to step up our efforts. The extended lockdown will have a profound impact on people from the weaker sections of our society. They need all our support to survive this unprecedented calamity. We are fortunate that we are able to act promptly, in collaboration with the state machinery, because of our association with the Government of Maharashtra Corona Control CSR Group. The Essar Covid-19 Relief Fund will continue to support marginalised and vulnerable groups of people pan-India,” said Kaustubh Sonalkar, CEO-Essar Foundation, and Group President-Corporate HR.
Over the last 50 years, Essar has worked closely with the communities residing in the vicinity of its operations. Since 2011, Essar Foundation has carried on philanthropic work in a cohesive, programmatic manner. Its activities are inspired by the concept of shared value whereby Essar strives to build an inclusive environment for the communities that it impacts through its business operations in the sectors of Energy, Infrastructure, Metals & Mining, Services, and Technology. Working in collaboration with non-profits and the local administrations, the Foundation today reaches out to 500,000 people across 500 villages in eight Indian states in the areas of Women’s Empowerment, Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship, Education, Environment Conservation, and Healthcare & Sanitation.