Google, Microsoft pledge support in India's COVID-19 fight
As India records more than three lakh daily COVID-19 cases for the fifth consecutive day, Google and Microsoft bosses have pledged support to help with the pandemic. Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted the link to company's official blog post announcing Rs. 135 crore in pandemic relief funding for India. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also announced the company would extend relief to the country.
Of Google's Rs. 135 crore pledge, 83 percent is in the form of advertisement grants (presumably on its own platform) to local health authorities and non-profit organizations to relay pandemic safety and vaccine awareness messages. Google's actual cash relief amounts to Rs. 20 crore in the form of two grants going to non-profit organizations GiveIndia and UNICEF for the medical and humanitarian relief aspects.
Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google Googlers are providing Rs 135 Crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information.https://t.co/OHJ79iEzZH— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 26, 2021
Through GiveIndia, Google will deliver cash assistance to families hit by the pandemic in order to cover daily expenses. The second grant goes to UNICEF for arranging urgent medical supplies, which include lifesaving oxygen and testing equipment. Additionally, more than 900 Google employees have paid a total of Rs. 3.7 crore out of their own pockets for organizations catering to high-risk and marginalized communities.
I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the U.S. government is mobilizing to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices.— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) April 26, 2021
Although Nadella didn't announce specific monetary aid, he tweeted that he was "heartbroken" by India's plight and expressed gratitude to the US government for mobilizing help. His tweet added that Microsoft will "support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices," but didn't reveal how or to what extent. Nadella also promised to use Microsoft's "voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts".
Nadella has at least paid lip service to India's pandemic crisis, but neither Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or Twitter boss Jack Dorsey have made any statement on the matter as of this writing. Both Zuckerberg and Dorsey have had strained relations with the Indian government due to their privacy and censorship policies of late, with MeitY severely cracking down on WhatsApp and Twitter.