The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven many essential workers, especially those in healthcare, to take unprecedented steps to protect public health. These amazing efforts have strained the resources and supplies these #HealthcareHeroes need to treat affected individuals. As we've seen in countries around the world fighting the disease, it is critically important that hospitals have an abundant supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) to ensure doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff can safely continue to work without risk to their health.
As unsettling as the virus outbreak has been to all of us, it has also been inspirational to see the Pune community come together and fight it. Heeding Prime Minister Modi's call to celebrate the contributions of essential workers, we at Icertis began asking around to find out how we could celebrate and support these vital members of our community. We also realized that early assistance would have the most impact, so we wanted to move fast. The conversations quickly led to the recognition that ensuring healthcare providers have access to PPE throughout the crisis will be essential to Pune winning the battle against COVID-19.
Every day, Icertians gather to share a community meal, which is fully funded by the company. But with our recent decision to ask employees to work from home, we thought, "why not make these meal-related funds available to support our broader community?" Therefore, in partnership with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Icertis decided to donate the 4-weeks of lunch money, a total of ₹25 lakh, to ensure the safety of doctors, nurses, and staff at Naidu Hospital. I am also thankful that the PMC leadership responded quickly and directed our efforts to areas with the most impact.
Naidu Hospital is Pune's designated COVID-19 hospital, and its healthcare professionals are responsible for the testing, treating, and well-being of quarantined patients. These brave doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, who are working round the clock, must take every precaution to remain safe from infection. This contribution from Icertians will help provide them:
- Personal protection equipment, including N95 masks, gowns, and gloves
- Hand sanitizer dispensers
- Viral transport media (VTM) kits, which protect test samples in transit to the lab
In response to Icertis' contribution, Shekhar Gaikwad, IAS, Commissioner PMC; Rubal Agarwal, IAS, Additional Commissioner PMC; and Dr. Ramchandra Hankare, PMC's health chief, shared with me the following: "On behalf of the PMC and the Naidu Hospital staff, please pass along our thanks to your Icertis colleagues – this generous contribution will help our front-line teams immensely as we unite as a community to fight this virus."
While writing this blog, I got a chance to read the empathetic message from Satya to Microsoft employees. One paragraph in his e-mail especially stood out to me. Satya says:
"… For me, the best way I've found to get past this anxiety is to focus on what I can do each day to make a small difference. Each of us, wherever we are, has the opportunity to do the same – take action driven by hope, a small step that makes things a bit better. And if everyone does something that makes the world a bit better, our collective work will in fact make the world a lot better, for the people we love, for our communities, for society."
We wholeheartedly agree! We are proud to be part of the solution, and we'll continue to look for ways in which we can pitch in to help. There are many who are trying to help, and many more who can! I hope that letting people know what we do can inspire others to do more!