India has over 1000 active coronavirus cases. As the nation-wide scare is nowhere close to being gone, citizens are being urged to maintain social distancing and other precautionary measures. The country is in a state of lockdown with access to limited supplies daily. While the Tata Trust and Reliance Group have donated hundreds of crores of rupees to fight the global pandemic, COVID-19, other corporates have extended their help for day-to-day supplies and support.
The 21-day lockdown only permits people in essential services such as healthcare, banking, and media to commute and with limited mobility options. It has become difficult for these people to travel to their workplace. To make transport easier for frontline healthcare workers, Uber has launched ‘UberMedic’ to help them reach medical facilities and critical areas across India.
Keeping the safety of drivers in mind, and in line with government advisory, it will work with partner hospitals to provide drivers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including hand sanitisers, gloves, disinfectant sprays and face masks.
With the lockdown, several daily wages workers have lost their jobs and have no funds to meet their basic, day-to-day requirements. The limited access to everyday essentials has made it even more difficult for these people to manage food for themselves daily. Restaurant-listing and food delivery app Zomato announced its initiative ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ project to provide food support to such families and to help them have a reliable supply of meals in the absence of employment opportunities.
A 100% not-for-profit campaign, Zomato is providing meal kits, containing a combination of wheat flour, rice and two types of pulses that can be used to cook meals for the family for a week. The food delivery app has also partnered with several NGOs to ensure the responsible distribution of these kits while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
In its 21-day lockdown period, it is of utmost importance to people to connect with their friends and family virtually via phone calls. While many are privileged, the low-income groups will struggle to have a minimum balance on their phones. Vodafone Idea has announced that they will be extending validity on prepaid plans availed by low-income customers and will also be providing a credited talk-time of INR 10 to these subscribers.
Reliance Industry’s telecommunication vertical will be providing complimentary 100 minutes of talk time and 100 text messages to its users till April 17. And even if users fail to top-up after their validity has ended, they will continue to receive incoming calls.
Hindustan Unilever announced that it will slash down the rates of Lifebuoy soaps and sanitisers by 15% and will also work closely with the government to donate as many as two crore pieces of Lifebuoy soaps in the next few months to the sections of the society, which need it the most. In addition to this, HUL will partner with medical institutions that are providing testing and care facilities to affected people and provide them free supplies of sanitation and hygiene products such as hand sanitizer, bar soaps and floor cleaners.
With the sudden announcement of a 21-day lockdown and just a few hours to prepare, residents were seen panic-buying and over-stocking. While the government stated that essentials would be available, with the overbearing fear of a pandemic, people tend to panic a lot more. Given the current scenario, Amul has increased its production by 15-20%, ensuring there is sufficient stock to meet the demand.
As life may come to a stand-still in the current state of affairs, be rest assured that you will not run out of essentials. With the government, entrepreneurs, and corporates working hand-in-hand, do not be scared about your day-to-day supplies.
Be informed about the pandemic and continuously update yourself about it via all guidelines and research pieces shared by WHO. Be responsible and practise social distancing, and while you’re at it, think of ways you can make a change and help someone in need.Be smart. Be safe.