How are big corporates like Ola, Paytm, RazorPay helping India fight COVID-19?

The service, which will be provided for free through the Ola app, service will start rolling out in Bengaluru from this week with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators
Image for representation| PTI
Image for representation| PTI

Ola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ola, on Monday said it has partnered with donation platform GiveIndia to provide consumers with oxygen concentrators, joining the growing roster of companies contributing towards relief efforts amid the deadly second wave of the COVID pandemic.

The service, which will be provided for free through the Ola app, service will start rolling out in Bengaluru from this week with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators.

Ola and GiveIndia will scale it up across the country with up to 10,000 concentrators in the coming weeks, a statement said. Consumers request an oxygen concentrator from the Ola app by providing a few basic details.

Once submitted, the request will be validated and Ola will then pick up the concentrator via one of its cabs with a specially trained driver and bring it to the consumer's doorstep.

Once the patient has gotten better and no longer requires the concentrator, Ola will pick the device back up and return it to GiveIndia to get it ready for the next patient who needs it.

"We must come together and help our communities during these unprecedented times. We hope this initiative brings much-needed support during these very difficult times and helps in mitigating the pain and the anxiety among those impacted,” Ola Chairman and Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.

As India reels under the impact of the second wave, hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

Social media timelines are filled with SOS calls with people looking for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors, and ventilators.

Organisations across the spectrum have come forward to source and donate oxygenators, breathing machines, and ventilators.

Digital payments solutions provider Razorpay said it has enabled a 'Donate Now' feature on the payment checkout page of all its merchants that will allow its merchant partners to nudge their customers to donate any amount after completing their payment.

Within seven days of launching this feature, over 2,000 merchants have enabled the feature and almost Rs 20 crore have been collected by the partner NGOs through Razorpay's platform.

Fintech major Paytm said it is offering its Payment Gateway services to all registered NGOs across the country at zero transaction fees - on donations of up to Rs 10 lakh - to help them secure maximum resources for swift and smooth COVID relief work.

RapiPay Fintech said it has introduced a tool on its website and app that assists users to check vaccination availability in their area and accordingly, register for the vaccination slot via Co-WIN.

iCreate said three startups incubated by it have launched critical health-tech devices that will help in altering ICU ventilators to host multiple patients and in augmenting large-scale oxygen supply chains.

Developed by Social Hardware, 3D printed splitter is a ventilator expansion device that allows a single ventilator to support up to four patients during a time of acute equipment shortage.

The IoT-enabled Chief Beta (Industrial IOT Gateway) - developed by Limelight IT solutions - is an industrial gateway that can easily plug into the oxygen supply lines of hospitals and allied healthcare institutions to monitor, perform audits, detect and send leakage alerts.

RedCarbon TechnoHub, on the other hand, has developed a portable oxygen generator 'Oxyter' that works on electrolysis.

"With the healthcare system in the country being stretched thin, deploying pragmatic technological interventions is the need of the hour. The most pressing need being an augmented O2 supply chain across the country. These innovations that our startups have come up with are cost-effective and quickly deployable," Anupam Jalote, CEO of iCreate, said.

Another tech firm, Collabera Technologies said it has converted its office in Gotri Baroda (Gujarat) into a COVID Care Centre for its employees and immediate family members.

The centre, which is equipped with oxygen concentrators, is also open for individuals with mild symptoms. Software firm Intuit is undertaking a slew of steps, including setting up a donation matching campaign where employees can contribute to the relief efforts and their contribution will be matched by Intuit 2.1.

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