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Mumbai, April 24, 2020
Essar Foundation, the CSR arm of the $ 14 billion Essar Group, said here on Thursday that it had decided to increase its commitment of providing 1.25 million meals to 2 million meals to the por and needy affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in India.
A press release from the foundation said this was being done in view of the extension of the lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of the virus, to May 3, which will prolong the hardships faced by the disadvantaged sections of society.
The release said the foundation had already provided almost 8 lakh meals to vulnerable sections of the society, including the homeless, daily wage earners, transgenders, and women with a background of domestic violence.
Of this, 20,000 meals per day is earmarked for the Maharashtra CM’s Relief Fund.
Apart from the provision for daily meals, Essar Foundation has also made donations as part of its campaign to augment COVID-19 relief efforts.
These include 150,000 masks (N95 & 3Ply) and sanitisers to hospitals, police stations and BMC workers and 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 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 Essar Group President-Corporate HR.
According to the release, 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 the 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 state in the areas of Women’s Empowerment, Livelihoods & Entrepreneurship, Education, Environment Conservation, and Healthcare & Sanitation," the release added.