Google has announced that it will be providing several streams of financial support to India as the country tackles daily records for the number of people testing positive for coronavirus. The support consists of 112 Crore INR ($115 million) in Ad Grants to allow local health authorities to more easily spread messages and 20 Crore INR ($2.6 million) will be sent from Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org to GiveIndia and UNICEF.
The money to GiveIndia will be used to provide cash assistance to families who have been hit hardest by the virus and it will help them cover their everyday expenses. The money sent to UNICEF, on the other hand, will be used to secure medical supplies such as oxygen and testing equipment so that it can be sent to the places that need it most. As things stand, many Indian hospitals have reached capacity and oxygen is scarce.
Commenting on the situation, Google's Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & VP, India, said:
“I am hopeful that the situation will turn around for our country soon, but as we have learned over the course of this pandemic, hope is not enough. At Google we’ll continue to work with local governments, partners and communities to give people the tools to stay healthy and safe. We’ll get through this tough time together.”
Aside from the aforementioned support, Google’s employees are also raising money. So far, 900 Google employees have contributed 3.7 Crore INR ($500,000) for organisations that are helping to support those in high-risk and marginalised communities.
Smartphone users in India also have access to COVID-19 information through many Google products including Search, Maps, YouTube, and Ads. The features are available in English and eight Indian languages in an attempt to reach as many people as possible. The services show a range of information including where to get tested and vaccinated and ad space allows the government to disseminate its messaging more easily. YouTube also has measures in place to raise up authoritative information while reducing misinformation.