Diageo, global leader in beverage alcohol and maker of Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, McDowell’s No 1 today pledged INR. 45 crores to support India’s COVID public health infrastructure during the second surge of the pandemic.
Through this initiative, Diageo will help nodal Government Hospitals in 21 districts to set up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Plants to create long-term oxygen capacity. Diageo will provide state governments fully equipped, prefabricated 16-bed mini-hospital units with PSA oxygen plants in 15 most critical districts. This will help increase hospital bed capacity in the district with the flexibility to upgrade to ICUs or Critical Care as well as relocate to districts of greatest need. In addition, the company will donate medical equipment including oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, ventilator beds and other critical devices to public hospitals across 10 States.
Anand Kripalu, Managing Director and CEO, Diageo India said, “At a time when the country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, we want to support the Government’s efforts and stand by the citizens of India. Long term medical infrastructure especially hospital beds and self-sufficiency in oxygen is what is needed most and we hope our contribution going into every State and UT will help play a part in India’s recovery. With this pledge, Diageo have so far contributed Rs 130cr towards Covid Relief.”
Given the scale of devastation, Diageo has adopted the ‘One District One State’ approach, with the aim to ensure that support reaches at least one district in each state and Union Territory of the country. Diageo’s initiative will be supported by the national investment promotion agency, Invest India and executed by GiveIndia by prioritising the requirements of the state authorities, identifying critical districts, and ensuring smooth transition to state medical officials.
*Note: Of the pledged INR 45 crores, INR 35 crores (cGBP 3.5mn) will be funded by Diageo plc.
Over the last year, Diageo India has been at the forefront in supporting the country and industry through the crisis. Starting March 2020, the company produced 300,000 litres of bulk hand sanitiser across 15 manufacturing units for use by public healthcare workers, donated 150,000 masks to 5 state’s Public Health departments and introduced a Rs. 3 crore healthcare insurance for bartenders. Diageo India also launched a INR 75 crore revival and recovery program – ‘Raising the Bar’, to support pubs, bars and restaurants.