India’s healthcare system is reeling under tremendous pressure caused due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadly second wave has affected everyone and all of us are in some way are experiencing varying degrees of pain and vulnerability. But human spirit is demonstrating resilience, empathy and unity in the fight against the pandemic.
To fight this second wave of Covid-19, not only doctors have stood up, but India’s booming startup ecosystem and unicorns have come together to mobilise funds and resources.
Take the case of Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) Grants, which stepped up its efforts last week to support hospitals across India by enabling a supplement medical workforce, and sourcing oxygen concentrators from abroad.
It was set up last March to minimise the impact of COVID-19 by raising Rs 100 crore from 34 founders and leaders, 44 funds, and 37 strategic partners. It now has a base of 100 volunteers, apart from a five-member COVID-19 Prospecting Team.
In its latest mission, ACT Grants set up a payment link late last night, enabled by RazorPay, for corporates and institutional donors as part of its plan to raise Rs 75 crore ($10 million), according to a tweet by Tejeshwi Sharma, Principal at Sequoia Capital.
Google and its employees are providing Rs 135 crore in funding to GiveIndia and UNICEF for medical supplies, organisations supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information. Silicon Valley-based Indian investor Valley investor Vinod Khosla too is coordinating grants through GiveIndia has asked public hospitals and NGOs to reach out.
I will be coordinating grants and sourcing thru @GiveIndia @atulsatija . Please make your requests to them directly and please contribute to their efforts too. The needs are large. https://t.co/qTrpjVKVzj
— Vinod Khosla (@vkhosla) April 26, 2021
Food delivery major Zomato said its not-for-profit arm Feeding India is joining hands with logistics unicorn Delhivery to set in motion the ‘Help Save My India’ plan. The company is raising funds to procure and distribute oxygen concentrators to hospitals and patients.
Zomato Feeding India, our not-for-profit has kickstarted the “Help Save My India” endeavour today in association with @delhivery to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need. pic.twitter.com/60kBYZMrrd
— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) April 25, 2021
Paytm Foundation is focusing on oxygen shortage and has raised its target to Rs 10 crore on its app to donate oxygen concentrators, and is matching contributions received from users.
Thank you India 🇮🇳
We have collected ₹1 crore & adding our ₹1 makes it ₹2 crore worth of oxygen concentrators.
We are upping it to ₹10 crore now !
Pls donate on : https://t.co/oBuURdSDYH .
I am sure we can make it possible and we will match ₹ to ₹ for all contribution🙏🏼 https://t.co/T9Cl8TsUR9
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) April 26, 2021
Kunal Shah of Cred, tweeted, believes that the real challenge lies in the availability of cryogenic containers to get oxygen to hospitals. He took to Twitter on Sunday looking for leads.
Important: oxygen manufacturing in India seems to be solved, but cryogenic containers to move it to hospitals are limited. 2 ways to solve it:
1) enable local plants at hospitals to be self-sufficient on oxygen
2) innovative tech to convert other containers to be able to move O2
— Kunal Shah (@kunalb11) April 25, 2021
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