Google Inc has extended support to India as it grapples with the most devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with a record-high number of daily cases and overflowing hospitals. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Monday that his company is funding Rs 135 crores UNICEF and the non-profit Give India for medical supplies, supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information about the deadly virus.
"Devastated to see the worsening COVID-19 crisis in India," the Alphabet chief tweeted.
Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google & Googlers are providing Rs 135 Crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information.https://t.co/OHJ79iEzZH— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 26, 2021
“Today we’re announcing 135 Crore INR ($18 million USD) in new funding for India. This includes two grants from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling 20 Crore INR ($2.6 million USD),” the company said in its blog.
The first is to GiveIndia to provide cash assistance to families hit hardest by the crisis to help with their everyday expenses. The second will go to UNICEF to help get urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment, to where it’s needed most in India, it added.
The funds also include donations from Google employees, who have contributed 3.7 Crore INR ($500,000 USD) for organizations supporting high-risk and marginalized communities. Besides this, the tech giant has also increased Ad Grant support for public health information campaigns.
“We’re increasing our support with an additional 112 Crore INR ($15 million) in Ad Grants to local health authorities and nonprofits for more language coverage options,” it said.
Infections in India have crossed 3 lakh per day, leaving hospitals unbearably full and supplies critically low. As many as 3,52,991 more people tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 1,73,13,163.
Several countries including the United States and Britain have come forward to provide crucial medical supplies. US President Joe Biden said that the United States is determined to "help" India as it faces an unprecedented health crisis.