Tech Giants Coming Forward to Support the Community

Vitalik Buterin, CEO of Ethereum (ETH), the most widely used blockchain globally, has reportedly donated about 50 trillion ShibaInu (SHIB) tokens worth $1.14 billiontoIndia's Crypto COVID Relief Fund. The fund was set up by Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, a platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development, last month in the wake of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 that has swept India off its feet.

Responding to Vitalik’s generous donation, Sandeep took to Twitter and said, “One thing we have learned from Ethereum and VitalikButerin is the importance of community. We will not do anything which hurts any community, especially the retail community involved with $SHIB. We will act responsibly. Please don't worry, $SHIB holders."

While the tweet was made to assure people who have invested in meme currencies as the prices have been plunging, yet he made another great observation; the importance of community in times of crisis.

As India struggles to deal with the high number of people getting affected by Covid-19 every day, there has been an upsurge in the number of individuals and organizations coming forward to help. The sense of community and oneness has never been so high in quite some time. Be it Brett Lee who donated one Bitcoin (valued over INR 45 lakh) or Balaji Srinivasan who donated $50,000 worth of ETH to the Crypto COVID Relief Fund, examples such as these have been a plenty.

These developments have also highlighted the role played by technology giants and entrepreneurs in leading the country’s fight against Covid-19. Recently, tech giant Google revealed its plan to set up an $18 million relief fund for India. Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, announced that the company would donate INR 135 crore to GiveIndiaand UNICEF for medical supplies and organisations supporting high-risk communities. He also emphasized on Google helping spread critical knowledge in these testing times. Google has also started a charitable giving program among its employees. More than 900 Google employees have contributed nearly $500,000 (INR 3.7 crore) so far.

“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” tweeted Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) on April 26, 2021.

In order to address the acute shortage of oxygen faced by hospitals all across the country Payment and fintech giant Paytm recently announced its plans of setting up several oxygen plants across 13 cities.The firm is importing the plants in partnership with organizations including the American Indian Foundation, and Elevation Capital. Expected to arrive within the next month, these machines will be provided free of cost to government hospitals. While making the announcement Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm said that the wider economic impact of the second wave has started to become evident from April. He also emphasized that the priority of Paytm as well as other startups were the survival of the community and its employees.

Another article is shortage and high demand has been oxygen concentrators that are portable machines that tap oxygen from the air for use by patients at home. Leveraging its prowess as a logistics and supply chain expert, Delhivery has helped import 1,000 oxygen concentrators while 38,444 more oxygen concentrators were expected to arrive later in the week.

Sahil Barua, Co-Founder, Delhivery took to Linkedin to announce the firm’s plans to provide logistical support to import oxygen concentrators from China.

“Airborne and inbound. Our first set of 1,000 oxygen concentrators have landed and are in distri concentrators have landed and are in distribution to hospitals, administrators and organisations around the country,” Barua wrote.

Apple has also come forward to lend support to India in its fight against Covid-19. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said that the company will help relief efforts on the ground for its workers as well as those battling the pandemic.
Amid a devastating rise of COVID cases in India, our thoughts are with the medical workers, our Apple family and everyone there who is fighting through this awful stage of the pandemic. Apple will be donating to support and relief efforts on the ground tweeted Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 26, 2021.

E-commerce giant Amazon is also collaborating with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, and Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response (PPCR) to airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore. The company stated that the equipment will be donated to hospitals and public institutions in various cities.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, revealed that the tech organization would donate $10 million to UNICEF to help with emergency response efforts. In a separate message, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, recalled her early career days in India and said the organization is looking to help those on the ground trying to stop the virus' spread.

Professional networking platform LinkedIn announced a collaboration with GiveIndia to collect funds for essential medical supplies including protective gear and appliances. Ashutosh Gupta, the company's country manager, said the company is working to make improvements to the platform so that it can provide accurate news and information.

Mastercard revealed a $10 million (INR 75 crore) vaccination fund for its India-based workers and their immediate families. Mastercard has announced that it will have 2,000 beds and assist 2.5 million Indians in gaining access to healthcare. As part of its CSR initiative, the company will set aside funds for additional shipments of 1,000 oxygen generators. It also intends to match up to $15,000 in employee contributions to its Employee Assistance Fund.

IBM has asked its workers all over the world to donate to the United Way of India. Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO of IBM India, wrote to his employees to encourage them to support the cause. So far, the big blue has donated funds for 2,500 oxygen concentrators, and he added that the company is partnering with local partners to finance emergency hospital beds in areas where its Indian team lives or operates.