Our heart beats for every Indian
The entire Reliance family joined forces to strengthen and fuel the nation’s fight against COVID-19. With a 24x7, multi-pronged approach, Reliance quickly mobilised on-the-ground efforts to ensure the nation wins the battle against COVID-19 and worked relentlessly during the global coronavirus pandemic to be at the service to the people of India. Reliance leveraged all of its resources – human as well as material – to help India overcome the threat posed by the virus.
Caring for All: Mission Anna Seva
Realising that during the lockdown marginalised and under-resourced communities across the country would need support with daily essentials, Reliance Foundation quickly launched a programme to distribute food to the needy. Mission Anna Seva is the largest meal distribution programme undertaken by a corporate foundation anywhere in the world.
The beneficiaries of Mission Anna Seva included daily wage earners, slum dwellers, urban service providers, factory workers, and residents of old-age homes and orphanages. It also provided meals to frontline workers such as junior medical staff, police personnel and security forces. Under this programme, Reliance Foundation provided cooked meals, ready-to-eat food packets, food coupons and dry ration kits to families and bulk ration to community kitchens.
The entire staff of Reliance Foundation and the larger Reliance family unitedly worked to support this mission on a war footing to ensure that the needy do not go hungry during the lockdown period. Reliance Retail employees contributed to this programme by packing, preparing and supplying the provisions needed for the programme. Reliance employee volunteers from across Reliance sites such as Mumbai, Silvassa, Vadodara, Patalganga, Hazira, Jhajjar, Shahdol, Jamnagar, Dahej, Barabanki, Nagothane, Gadimoga and Hoshiarpur distributed free meals to marginalised communities in their respective locations. Acknowledging that due to the lockdown, highway restaurants were shut and the truck drivers transporting essentials for the whole country were struggling to find food while on the way, staff members at certain Reliance petrol stations in West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha distributed free meals to truck drivers.
Reliance Foundation also supplied relief kits and bulk rations to over 80 partners that were engaged in similar hunger alleviation programmes in their respective locations. This programme was also supported by over 2,400 volunteers across the nation to ensure that food reached the most needy communities as fast as possible. These partners and volunteers ensured Mission Anna Seva reached the last mile by identifying communities and families that need help and by stepping out amongst them, even in these uncertain times, to provide help to vulnerable communities. Reliance Foundation also provided bulk rations to community kitchens that were serving meals to migrant families, labourers, homeless and other needy people. Reliance Foundation also supported migrant labourers returning to their home towns and villages by providing cooked meals and rations to support them during these challenging times.
Compassion for All: Care for stray animals
Stray animals had a tough time finding food due to the fall in human activity during the lockdown. Extending its care to animals as well, provision was made for the distribution of food for stray animals. Animal food was provided to partner organisations which look after stray animals. Grain feed was provided for birds and fodder kits were also provided for livestock in rural areas.
Strengthening India: Setting up health infrastructure support
Reliance Foundation demonstrated its commitment and capacity to rise up to the situation during the response to the COVID-19 crisis. In collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Reliance Foundation set up the first, COVID-19 dedicated hospital in India in just two weeks. With the focus on treating patients with COVID-19, all beds are equipped with the required infrastructure, bio-medical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
The Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre (RFH) set up special medical facilities to quarantine travellers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing. Responding to the evolving situation, RFH also provided a unique solution of home quarantine services where the COVID-19 positive and symptomatic patients could receive a comprehensive solution in the safety of their home. The service offers medicines and consumables, vitals monitoring devices, home disinfectants, video consultations with doctors, home nursing service and home sample collection.
Reliance built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and handed it over to the district authorities for use. Reliance Foundation also supported the setting up of a quarantine ward for COVID-19 suspected patients at Spandan Holistic Mother-And-Child Care Hospital, Deonar, Chembur in Mumbai.
RFH was the first institute in Maharashtra identified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to be part of a multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of plasma therapy. In addition, RFH set up an exclusive 10 bedded dialysis centre in Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Hospital, Mumbai in collaboration with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Moreover, Reliance Foundation’s Mobile Medical Units (MMU) deployed in Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh; Nagothane, Maharashtra; and Jhajjar, Haryana continued to provide medical assistance to the rural communities in the times of COVID-19 and also helped raise awareness about precautionary measures like social distancing, wearing masks and hand washing in surrounding villages.
Uninterrupted Support: Free Fuel for Emergency Service Vehicles
To keep the Emergency Services running uninterrupted, Reliance provided free fuel to government notified vehicles and ambulances used to transport COVID-19 patients. Reliance provided over 5.5 lakh litres of free fuel, supporting over 14,000 ambulances across 249 districts in 18 states.
Protecting the Grassroots: Supporting rural communities with opportunities
Reliance Foundation has also been supporting rural communities across the country during these unprecedented times. Reliance Foundation has provided specialist help and advice to Gram Panchayat (GP) leaders and other community groups, giving them guidance on how to meet challenges and learn about various schemes for financial support and livelihood opportunities. In addition, Reliance Foundation has provided knowledge and capacity building support on livelihood opportunities in farming, horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries for migrants who returned back to their villages from the cities following the lockdown.
In rural areas, GP and Self-Help Groups (SHG) supported and mentored by Reliance Foundation have helped address various challenges related to the pandemic. In many villages, they have taken the lead to create awareness on COVID-19 and put in place the necessary precautionary measures. For example, community initiatives were established to stitch masks and distribute them to frontline workers. SHGs have taken a leading role in this. For example, in Jamnagar over 1 lakh masks were made by 148 women from villages located near the Jamnagar refinery and supported by SHGs. Community leaders have also created opportunities for employment as well as providing protection for the community. They have also helped raise awareness on various government schemes that were put in place to support rural communities. Moreover, the 26 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) mentored by Reliance Foundation have helped farmers in establishing market linkages so they were able to continue harvesting, aggregating, transporting and selling their produce for a fair price during the lockdown. These FPOs also supported farmers to procure seeds and other input materials for the next sowing cycle.
Using Technology: Dissemination of advisories to communities
Reliance Foundation also leveraged digital technology to disseminate health advisories on the preventive measures for COVID-19 along with safety precautions for agriculture workers and relevant government schemes people could opt for to seek respite during the lockdown among other important topics. These advisories reached over 14 lakh people between March-September 2020.
In addition, Reliance Foundation also organised virtual audio-visual conferences for farmers, fishermen and livestock owners across the country so that they could connect with agriculture experts, local officials and policy makers to address their concerns and get the necessary advice on how to overcome challenges during the lockdown. This timely help in their hour of need enabled them to have access to the information and advice they needed to be able to harvest their crops at the right time and get the right price for their produce.
Through its continuous effort to serve the country and its people during the pandemic, Reliance and the whole Reliance family has demonstrated its will and the capacity to rise-up to the situation by mobilising all the necessary physical, human and technological resources to support the nation in this time of need.