Google launches Rs 135 crore to fight coronavirus crisis in India

Google launches Rs 135 crore to fight coronavirus crisis in India

Google has announced a commitment of Rs 135 crore (or approx $18 million) to fight the pandemic in India, which is hit hard by the second wave of Covid-19 infections. 

The commitment includes two grants from, Google’s philanthropic arm, totalling Rs 20 crore (or approx $2.6 million. The fund will help in getting urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipments for India as the country sees record case numbers amid oxygen shortage.

“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,” said Sanjay Gupta, Country Head and VP,  Google India.

The funding also includes ad support for public health campaigns. In fact,  the tech giant has increased ad grants support by pumping additional Rs 112 crore (or approx $15 million) to help local authorities and non-profits for more language coverage options.

In addition, over 900 ongoing Google employees have contributed Rs 3.7 crore (or approx $500,000) for organisations supporting high-risk and marginalised communities.

For the past few months, Google is adding Covid-19 features to its core products, including Search. The Covid features in search can be accessed in English and eight languages. Google says it will continue to improve localisation and highlight authoritative information.

Separately, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is pledging Rs 5 crore in a personal capacity to fight the coronavirus pandemic in India. “Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India,” Pichai tweeted. Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also extended support to fight the existing Covid crisis in India.

I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, has been badly hit by the surge in Covid cases. On Sunday, India’s coronavirus infections set a world record with new 3.52 lakh cases and 2812 fatalities. 

Hospitals in the country’s capital, Delhi, begged for oxygen supplies. The government has deployed trains and military planes to get oxygen to the far corners of the country.