In a bid to strengthen rural India’s healthcare infrastructure, Google on Thursday announced grants of nearly Rs 113 crore to develop oxygen generation plants and run skilling programs for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers.
In a tweet, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Our hearts go out to those in India impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and we continue to look for ways to help. Today @Googleorg will provide an additional $15.5 million to build oxygen generation plants and train healthcare workers in rural India.”
The move comes two months after Google had announced Rs 135 crore of funding, which went toward GiveIndia for providing cash assistance to families that were hardest hit by the crisis, and towards UNICEF’s efforts to procure urgent medical supplies.
On Thursday, the company announced tie-ups with more organisations and initiatives.
“Today, as India slowly emerges from the crisis of the past few months, we are turning our focus to helping strengthen India’s healthcare infrastructure and workforce — especially in rural areas.”
“Building on our overall COVID-19 response, we are announcing new commitments to GiveIndia, PATH, Apollo Medskills and ARMMAN, focused on setting up oxygen generation plants and expanding the health workforce by strengthening COVID-19 management skills among frontline workers,” the company said in a blog post.
“Google.org will support procurement and installation of approximately 80 oxygen generation plants in healthcare facilities in high-need and rural locations with new grants totalling approximately $15 million (109 Crore INR) to GiveIndia and PATH. The two organizations will work together to oversee the oxygen program, providing project management support. PATH will identify the target locations and provide technical assistance, working with state governments and other authorities, and complete the installation of the plants.”
“As part of our new commitment, Google is also investing in the efforts of Apollo Medskills to help upskill 20,000 frontline health workers through specialized training in COVID-19 management. This will complement and strengthen the stressed rural health workforce and rural health systems,” the company said. “To further bolster these efforts, Google.org will provide a $500,000 (3.6 Crore INR) grant to nonprofit ARMMAN. ARMMAN will run skilling programs for 180,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) and 40,000 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in 15 Indian states. It will also set up a call center to provide additional help and advice for ASHAs and ANMs where required."