How Indian automakers are helping out with relief measures during second covid surge

During the second wave of the pandemic, many Indian automakers reached out to their communities to support them in a time of need. Some cut production to cater to the growing need for oxygen, while others helped procure oxygen concentrators and set up hospitals.

By:Updated: May 19, 2021 6:03 PM

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic caught the nation unprepared and off guard leading to the scarcity of ambulances, medication, hospital beds and even medical oxygen. Social media blew up and the digital world was in action as people used every resource they could find to help people in need. Some for people they didn’t even know. While many lives were lost, many were saved thanks to the frontline workers who risked their lives for those suffering. India’s automotive industry went far and beyond to help the nation battle against the second wave of covid-19 in 2020, and again in 2021.

The Indian automotive industry lent a helping hand to support their nearby communities and the nation as well. TVS, Honda, Hero, Hyundai, Yamaha, Renault, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, Mahindra, Tata Motors, Kia Motors, Audi, MG and others have all announced to provide an extension to product warranties and free services to its customers who have been impacted by the lockdown. Leaving those aside, some manufacturer went above and beyond to try and help their employees, the nearby community and also assist the healthcare industry with the essentials to save lives and help those most in need.

Maruti Suzuki and Zydus set up new hospital in Gujarat.

India’s largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki had shut its manufacturing operations to bring forward its annual plant maintenance. While doing so, it used the small amount of oxygen it consumes to produce vehicles to provide it to those in need. It also collaborated with Airox Nigen Equipments Pvt Ltd and SAM Gas Projects Pvt Ltd to help them scale up the manufacturing of oxygen plants to help meet the demand. Additionally, Maruti Suzuki and Zydus have set up a new hospital in Gujarat which has an initial capacity of 50 covid beds (expandable to 100 beds). The Indian automaker invested a total of Rs 126 crore to set up the medical facility as a part of its CSR initiative. Click here for more information.

Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI)Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI)

Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India recently announced new measures it has taken to safeguard its employees, their dependants and the larger community in Karnataka. MBRDI also collaborated with C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms), the German Consulate, Bengaluru, Rhenus Logistics, and Nayonika Eyecare Charitable Trust to procure 110 oxygen concentrators for hospitals in Karnataka. Additionally, it has rolled out a new programme to assist and support its workforce during these tragic times and offers medical care to covid affected families.

Bajaj Auto came out to assist by paying two year’s salary to the next of kin of any employee who would lose their battle to covid-19. Bajaj will also add education assistance of Rs 1 lakh per child per annum up to Class XII and Rs 5 lakh per annum for graduation for two children for the same. Medical insurance for the dependants would be extended for 60 months and the cover would be more comprehensive. Bajaj Group committed Rs 300 crore to support initiatives by the government, local administration and NGOs to fight Covid-19. It includes procuring 12 oxygen plants and respiratory support equipment, since the onset of the pandemic last year. Bajaj Auto’s engineers have been working closely with government authorities to audit oxygen systems at more than 70 hospitals across Maharashtra. To know more about the initiatives by the Bajaj Group and Bajaj Auto, click here.

While many started manufacturing oxygen plants and procuring concentrators, Mahindra Logistics deployed its Bolero pick up trucks to deliver oxygen cylinders to medical services. The Initiative started with 100 vehicles travelling across Maharashtra, and then was rolled out in Delhi, Punjab, followed by more cities and regions being added. More info

mahindra oxygen on wheels delhiMahindra’s Oxygen on Wheels

MG Motor India used its Hector SUV to convert them into custom-built ambulances. It donated five of these Hector Ambulance vehicles to Nagpur’s Nangia Specialty Hospital.

Honda India’s CSR arm; Honda India Foundation (HIF) pledged Rs 6.5 crore to set up 100-covid bed facilities in Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Included in the efforts, HIF has set up oxygen plants as well.

Employees at Toyota Kirloskar Motor volunteered to support the national doctor helpline for covid-19 patients. The volunteering TKM employees assist covid-19 patients to connect with the registered doctors. Their role includes preparing doctor shifts besides helping ensure all those patients who call the helpline number can reach the doctors through proper scheduling and follow-ups.

Hyundai Motor India Foundation, Hyundai Motor’s CSR arm in India announced the ‘Back-to-Life’ project. Under it, HMIF worked towards the delivery of lifesaving medicare oxygen equipment to most affected Covid-19 states such as New Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Telangana. It expedited the purchase and supply of critical medical equipment to assist hospitals with oxygen concentrators (700 nos), high flow oxygen (HFO) plants (10), high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) machines (200) and BiPap ventilator machines (225). Hyundai has donated Rs 10 crores towards Pandemic Relief in Tamil Nadu. While half of that is set aside to procure oxygen equipment alone.

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