Digital payments giant Paytm’s not-for-profit arm Paytm Foundation will be setting up oxygen plants in 12-13 cities as hospitals across India are facing oxygen shortage amid the deadly second wave of Covid-19.
Oxygen plants are devices that render possible the production of medical oxygen from ambient air while simultaneously supplying the gas to multiple beds. The company will install their oxygen plants, costing between INR 50 Lakh to INR 1 Cr, directly at the hospitals to avoid middlemen and extensive procuring procedures.
Paytm Foundation had recently raised INR 10 Cr worth donations under ‘Oxygen For India’ to source oxygen concentrators for the country. The company had matched the donation as well, taking the total amount to INR 20 Cr. With this money, Paytm Foundation will procure 21,000 oxygen concentrators for donations to hospitals and healthcare centres.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm said, “While oxygen concentrators are good for short term support, we figured out that oxygen plants could provide our healthcare system with larger support. Hence, we decided to direct our donations to build oxygen plants at government hospitals for free.”
The oxygen concentrators will be sent to government hospitals, Covid care facilities, private hospitals, nursing homes as well as resident welfare associations (RWA) this month. The company is currently between dialogues with state government as well as hospitals for affirmation and approval to set the oxygen plants. Once purchased, the plants will be provided free of cost to government hospitals.
Paytm is working in conjunction with other prominent organisations, including Elevation Capital and the American Indian Foundation for these initiatives.
Besides Paytm, several other companies have also been finding ways to help out India get past the worst healthcare crisis the country has ever seen. CRED CEO and founder Kunal Shah is allowing users to donate their CRED coins to source 1 Bn litre oxygen for India. Every 10,000 CRED Coins will go towards sending 1,000 litre of oxygen to hospitals.
Zomato Feeding India has kickstarted the “Help Save My India” initiative in association with logistics startup Delhivery to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need. The company is looking to raise INR 50 Cr for this initiative. Other startups or companies can also join the initiative by writing to [email protected] or [email protected].
Delhivery’s cofounder Sahil Barua, on Saturday (May 1), announced that the company has helped import 1,000 oxygen concentrators from China and distributed them to hospitals, administrators and organisations around the country. He noted that more than 38,444 more oxygen concentrators are expected to arrive in India this week.