Representative Pic
Representative Pic

Singapore/Bhopal: A major international food and agri-business company in Singapore has partnered with the Indian High Commission and other public and private sector companies to provide crucial medical supplies to help India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Olam International, headquartered in Singapore, is partnering with Temasek, Temasek Foundation, Singapore Airlines, SATS (Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd), Air India, Kerry Logistics, the Pan IIM Alumni Association and the High Commission of India in Singapore to source and airlift essential medical equipment to meet critical oxygen needs in India.

Since Sunday, the partners have sent 200 oxygen concentrators, 51,000 oximeters, 825 hospital-grade BiPAP machines and 30 tele-ventilators from Singapore to India, and continue to work towards providing more essential medical supplies to the country, Olam said in a press release on Friday.

On the ground in India, Olam continues to work with a coalition of private and public sector partners including the Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response anchored at MCCAI, Singapore High Commission in India, ACT Grants, Swasth Alliance, Manipal Foundation, HCG, Medanta, local health authorities, various India business groups and many others.

Working round-the-clock, the partners have been procuring and distributing medical supplies to hospitals and COVID-19 treatment centres across India in Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Along with Temasek Foundation and the High Commission of Singapore in India, Olam will also be donating 300 oxygen concentrators directly to the Government of Tamil Nadu for deployment in COVID-19 treatment centres across the state.

“We have seen the severe impact this pandemic has had on people and communities across the world, and it is a heartbreaking situation as it now sweeps through India," A Shekhar, Executive Director at the Olam Group and CEO of Olam Food Ingredients, said in a press release.

"At Olam, we are utilising our international supply chains and a network of partners to help provide timely supplies and relief at scale. It is heartening to see the strong groundswell of support from public and private sector organisations across the world, uniting to support India through this very difficult time.

"We will continue to support relief efforts while ensuring we keep our staff, partners and operations on the ground safe. As it has been said, no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.

Separately, Olam has also launched a company-wide donation drive to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts in India. These funds collected through contributions from employees will be directed fully towards COVID-19 relief programmes at the local, state or federal level in India.

Meanwhile, permanent residents in Singapore Prantik Mazumdar and Dipti Kamath have raised SGD 204,960 (USD 1,53,828) as of Thursday through crowd funding platform Milaap.

"We are inspired because 1,043 people from 10 nations have supported our project," tabla!, a Singapore weekly on the Indian community, quoted Mazumdar as saying.

The husband and wife duo are working with Swasth Hindustan Mission in Bengaluru and Mission Oxygen in Mumbai to distribute the concentrators.

Also, a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University alumni, have also taken to Milaap to raise funds and help India overcome the oxygen shortage.

About a dozen of them banded under Singapore Universities' Mission Oxygen (SUMO) and spread across Singapore, the Philippines and India are using their varied expertise to manage the end-to-end process - from procurement to logistics and deployment in towns and villages, according to tabla!.

"About 600 people from all over the world have contributed and we have raised about USD100,000. We are now buying oxygen concentrators," Rahul Singh, a bank employee and NTU 2010 graduate, told the weekly.

These concentrators will be given to Community Empowerment Lab and Mercy Mission for distribution at the ground level in Uttar Pradesh and Bengaluru.

Indian expats Rohit Dwivedi, Gaurav Mishra and Seema Devgan have raised SGD 100,000 (USD 75,058) from the people in Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Australia and Hong Kong.

The trio is working with NGO Delhi Youth Welfare Association to distribute essential medical equipment in India.

Likewise, the Singapore Gujarati Society President Biren Desai's family trust, Yamuna Pulin, has ordered 50 oxygen machines from China which will be sent to India over the next two weeks, according to tabla!

Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives Singapore (CHARIS), the fund raising body for overseas humanitarian aid of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, are also raising funds to support India fight the COVID-19 crisis.

"We are now focused on working with our partner organisations to judiciously and effectively deploy the funds," said Linus Ng, executive director of CHARIS.

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