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Startups and tech giants pump in oxygen to help a nation gasping for breath

With Covid-19 patients across the country suffocating for want of oxygen as the pandemic continues to spread, startups are stepping up to provide much needed cylinders and concentrators to the needy.

Digital financial services platform Paytm’s CSR arm Paytm Foundation has donated 100 oxygen concentrators along with an oxygen-generating plant to Gujarat to help meet the medical oxygen requirement of hospitals to combat the second wave of Covid-19. The company will be setting up about a dozen oxygen plants across the country to help overcome the shortage of oxygen.

“It’s crucial in the time of crisis to provide a pillar of support to our fellow citizens as pandemic waves hit the shores. We aim to converge our resources along with the state government’s initiatives to save as many lives of the people of Gujarat,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm.

Ola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ola, has partnered with GiveIndia to provide consumers with oxygen concentrators for free through the Ola app. The service will start rolling out in Bengaluru from this week with an initial set of 500 oxygen concentrators. Ola and GiveIndia will scale it up across the country with upto 10,000 concentrators in the coming weeks.

“You can request for concentrators on the Ola app. Once validated, we will deliver it to your doorstep and pick it up back once you no longer need it. Concentrator and transportation are both free,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola, on Twitter.
E-commerce major Amazon has also partnered with various industry partners and non-governmental organisations to urgently bring in 10,000 oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines to India. The company has also formed a team of Covid warriors who are helping colleagues and the community with critical resources.

“I am really touched today with my organisation Amazon. My mother tested covid positive and last night her spo2 started depleting. I took my phone and dialled Covid Amazon support and they were prompt in taking action. At 1 am I raised a request for an oxygen concentrator and dot 4 am the driver was at my doorstep,” wrote an Amazon employee on LinkedIn.

Digital payments and banking technology platform Cashfree has also joined the initiative by pledging support to Mission Oxygen to help hospitals across India get access to oxygen concentrators. In association with online crowdfunding platform Ketto, the fintech startup will be matching the contribution of up to Rs 40 lakh received as donation on the platform for oxygen concentrators.

HCL group is supporting the Delhi Government with 12,000 oxygen cylinders each with a capacity of 40 liters and 21 Oxygen Plants which will generate 8800 liters of oxygen per minute, catering to around 1500 patients at a time. Two of these ready-to-use Oxygen Plants which are being imported from France have already been delivered and will get installed at Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in New Delhi. Business Standard News