Amazon India Recognized with CSR Impact Award
CSR Impact Award – Beginning in 2021, it seemed as though COVID-19 was at its worst, with the number of active cases significantly declining and street life returning to normal. The second wave hit India with devastating force and virality just one month later.
The effects were so severe that it became necessary to ration essential healthcare resources, and because of this shortage, hundreds of lives were lost every day. The need for oxygen support and hospital beds were both urgent. An immediate reaction was required because of the frightening situation on the ground.
At this point, Amazon sprung into action and began Operation Vayu, a cross-continent COVID-19 reaction designed to quickly transport medical supplies to Indian towns and public hospitals.
CSR Impact Award
Having an impact
In order to solve the extraordinary situation and preserve lives, partners from a variety of sectors, donors, and NGOs banded together to act promptly when there was a shortage of oxygen.
Amazon contributed more than INR 100 Cr to COVID relief efforts, enabling 532 hospitals spread across 187 districts and 25 states to receive essential medical equipment. One of the largest oxygen support efforts in India and one of the most significant charitable contributions in the nation, 8,382 units of essential medical devices were supplied to these institutions in record time.
Phase 1 of the aid effort
The team learnt that Temasek Foundation, a Singapore-based non-profit, was offering about 8,000 oxygen concentrators (OCs) and 500 BiPap machines through ACT Grants, a combined initiative of several philanthropists. Amazon offered to help with the logistics required to get this shipment into India as soon as possible and rapidly sent out a team of more than 100 logistics experts to manage on-the-ground logistics operations. Additionally, Amazon pledged to actively purchase as many OCs as they could to aid communities.
Through their global logistics team, Amazon transported over 8,000 oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines, ventilators, and other vital life-saving supplies from Singapore, China, North America, and Europe to India over the course of the following two months. They also established mechanisms to repurpose their internal logistics capabilities and expertise, to help with the distribution of these supplies.
Amazon also provided more than 1,500 meals per day to underprivileged groups, without forgetting those who quietly laboured behind the scenes throughout the crisis. A month’s worth of 1,500 hot, freshly prepared meals were given to overburdened crematorium employees and hearse van drivers at 14 crematoriums in Bangalore, the second-worst-hit city in India, thanks to a collaboration between Amazon, AkshayPatra, and the Bangalore municipal body.
Teams have to manage the psychological effects of COVID while delivering at scale with constrained bandwidth. Across numerous teams, Amazon employees went above and beyond the call of duty to assist at all hours of the day, whether it was with logistics, fundraising efforts, or the administration of finances, legal documents, and customs paperwork.
Phase 2 of the aid operation
When the second wave peaked and things started to seem more normal again, Amazon shifted its attention to bolstering the vaccination drive and developing the healthcare system in order to be ready for any unforeseen crises.
Amazon collaborated to increase capacity, strengthen current infrastructure, and support 5 community immunisation sites throughout Bangalore with the aid of GIVE India and Doctors for You.
Amazon funded the construction of an oxygen plant attached to the Community Healthcare Center (CHC) in Maheshwaram, Rangareddy district, Telangana, and another oxygen plant in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, in order to boost the healthcare infrastructure over the long run. Around 200 patients a day will be served by the Telangana plant for this government hospital.
The COVID-19 reaction gave Amazon insight into the value of being proactive and keeping an eye on the ground. They now have newfound understanding of how to use and repurpose business assets for the benefit of society.