The Eicher Group, which comprises Royal Enfield and VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd., has announced an initial outlay of Rs 50 crore towards building dedicated COVID-19 care facilities, and various immediate relief and support measures to tackle the impact of the pandemic. The company says that while this is an initial commitment of funds, Eicher Group will continue to assess the situation and is likely to increase spending over forthcoming months, to deploy support and for long-term rehabilitation in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Eicher states that having undertaken a detailed assessment of immediate and near-term requirements, the Group will deploy the initial Rs 50 crore for relief initiatives under the following areas:
● The Group will work towards providing food, provisions and sanitation consumables, as well as setting up sanitation facilities for high-need-gap, underprivileged local communities in parts of several states across the country. To this end, the Group has partnered with NGOs to assess needs and deliver support to the needy.
● Part of the funds will be deployed to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment for medical care personnel across government hospitals in Chennai for the interim period until government procurement and supplies stabilises.
● Eicher Group will work towards augmenting healthcare support by working with an identified set of government and private hospitals to build dedicated COVID-19 specialty wards, including isolation areas and equipment towards patient care.
● Funds will also be directed towards support and relief measures for truck drivers, including food and sanitation supplies and COVID-19 healthcare testing kits.
● Employees of the Group have started contributing to government relief funds. In addition, Eicher Group will also contribute towards the PM CARES fund as well as relief funds in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
The OEM says its Group is in talks with various government organisations to support the production of critical medical equipment and supplies, including ventilators. This will include the employment and leverage of new-age technologies like 3D printing for rapid upscaling of parts for the medical equipment.
The company says while these initiatives are being undertaken immediately, there is a strong need to employ recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the medium and long term. Towards this, Eicher Group will be working on livelihood training and reskilling initiatives for rehabilitation of the labour affected in the aftermath of COVID-19, for improving their employability.