HOW MANAPPURAM HELPED IN INDIA’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
The year 2020 brought with it an unprecedented challenge to humanity. As Covid-19 spread like wildfire to become a worldwide pandemic, governments across the world were forced to take harsh measures to deal with the contagion. Businesses and educational institutions had to be shut down for prolonged periods disrupting the livelihoods of millions of people and affecting the education of children. Many people found themselves out of work and in deep distress, unable to provide even basic necessities for their families.
It was against this backdrop that the entire team of employees at Manappuram Finance joined forces to contribute to the nation’s fight against COVID-19. A 24×7, multi-pronged approach was put in place where Manappuram deployed its human and financial resources for on-the-ground efforts to help in the nation’s battle against COVID-19. Our team worked relentlessly during the pandemic to assist the most vulnerable people as they tried to cope with this calamity. Here, then, is a brief account of all that was accomplished in our quest to overcome the virus.
Free Vaccination to employees across India: The best way to win the fight against the virus is to begin at home. That was the idea behind Manappuram tying up with FICCI to extend vaccinations to all its employees and their family members. The drive began in earnest after India opened its vaccination campaign to all citizens over the age of 18 years. Employees of the company and their family members located across the country were covered, as also all the employees and family members of our group companies.
Distribution of food kits to the deprived: As soon as the lockdown began, it became clear that deprived communities across the country would need support with daily essentials, as many were in dire straits. At Manappuram, we quickly launched a programme to distribute food kits to the needy accompanied by generous financial contributions to ensure the continued functioning of community kitchens in nearby villages.
Creating Mass Awareness: The first line of defence against the virus involves washing your hands with soap, masking up, and maintaining physical distancing. We were at the forefront of spreading the message about Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and the need to get vaccinated through the mass media channels, and we also deployed our galaxy of brand ambassadors for greater impact.
Empowered students for online education: The many disruptions in our lives following the pandemic have created obstacles in the continuity of education, particularly for children belonging to low-income households most of whom study in poorly equipped schools. Students from poor families often lack access to digital devices, and many could not afford to buy smart phones to pursue online education. At Manappuram, we initiated a project to distribute smartphones to students hailing from poor families in all the assembly constituencies of Kerala (in association with the local MLAa) to enable them to attend online classes. This was prompted by the many reports about the challenges faced by such students under the online education system implemented in the state due to the pandemic restrictions.
Support for health infrastructure: To fight the deadly second wave of the virus, Manappuram Finance collaborated extensively with government bodies and medical institutions across Kerala to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure. The company donated 15 ventilators to hospitals all over Kerala during this most devastating phase. We also contributed critical medical equipment including fumigators, pulse oximeters, and related items to support the work of our frontline covid workers.
Helping hand for covid frontline warriors: The unprecedented health crisis had over-burdened the nation’s health-care system, leaving millions at risk of exposure and made India’s frontline workers especially vulnerable. To deal with the problem on a priority basis, Manappuram took up the urgent task of providing essential equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) kits consisting of face masks, shields, gloves, and protective gowns to healthcare workers across the state.
Distribution of sanitizers, masks, and preventives medicines: Manappuram Finance collaborated with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), various Government Homoeopathy hospitals, and local governing bodies to distribute sanitizers, masks and Homoeopathic immunity boosting medicines to the common people and police personnel.
Isolation Covers for Auto-Rickshaws: The company arranged for the distribution of isolation covers to auto-rickshaw drivers as a precautionary measure, to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 spreading among passengers and drivers.
Neonatal ventilator ICU ambulance for the coastal belt: The Manappuram Group offers free ambulance services to the needy people of the coastal belt of Thrissur through the Manappuram Foundation. The ambulance service caters to all emergency cases, critical and non-critical cases, as also patient transportation services. A 24*7 ICU ambulance service was made available for the benefit of people living in the coastal area.
Smart Gate for thermal screening: As part of Covid-19 management, Manappuram Finance presented the Thrissur railway with a ‘Smart Gate’ for thermal-screening of passengers entering the station. The fully self-regulating gate enables railway security personnel to avoid close contact with passengers while carrying out their duties, thereby enhancing their safety. The smart gate boasts of features like face detection, metal detector, and live videorecording, with the capacity to furnish the data of 20 people at a time to the security personnel. Manappuram Finance Ltd. has also sponsored similar systems installed at the Kannur International Airport and the Kannur Railway Station.
Summing up: Today, as India confronts the likelihood of a third wave arising from the Omicron variant, this is no time to let down our guard. We bear a responsibility to self-regulate our behaviour and to adhere to the prescribed Covid protocol. All the same, the future cannot be predicted. At Manappuram, we remain ever ready to extend our helping hand should the need arise again.
Pic courtesy : Manappuram Finance Ltd