Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Infosys will commit an additional Rs 100 crore to support efforts to fight COVID-19 in India, its top executive told Moneycontrol. This comes on top of the Rs 100 crore that it allocated last year, taking its total commitment to Rs 200 crore.
"Last year, we helped in establishing full-fledged COVID hospital in Bengaluru which is now running at full capacity. We will be allocating funds this time to various other cities where Infosys has a presence- Hyderabad, Pune, Nagpur, Mangalore, Trivandrum, and Delhi. We are supporting hospitals by giving ventilators, oxygen concentrators, sanitisers, PPE kits, N95 masks. We are also helping construction workers with rice and food kits, apart from providing maintenance money to auto drivers. We are also spending money on vaccination awareness programs because there are many people who are not taking vaccines. We are also helping animal care centres," Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, told Moneycontrol in a phone interview.
Half of the Rs 100-crore commitment last March was earmarked for the PM Cares fund. This time around, the entire commitment will be used by the Foundation to fund various initiatives at the grassroots level. "There is a lot of work that we are doing at the grass-root level and we need funds for all this. We have distributed thousands of ration kits to vulnerable sections," she said.
70-year old Murty's day usually starts at 5:30 am and she works for up to 15 hours a day, coordinating relief efforts from home, seeking requirements from various hospitals and organizations. "It is not easy, we work very hard. I would have done more if I was on the road," she said.
When asked about the current intensity of the second wave, the government's response, and the way forward, she said, "I am a foot soldier, not an expert on epidemiology. Vaccination may be the best way forward as people who even got one dose are able to combat the virus better. We have to ask everybody to get it. Mumbai was extremely bad but it has come down so hopefully Bengaluru also will."
Sudha Murty, married to Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, is one of India's leading philanthropists and also an acclaimed writer in Kannada and English. She has more than 30 books and 200 titles to her credit – including novels, non-fiction, travelogues, technical books, and memoirs.
"I wrote a book for kids during the Coronavirus lockdown. We have to be careful, follow the guidelines, be positive that this too shall pass. Being able to help others makes you more positive. Parents should spend more time with children," she said.
After heading the Infosys Foundation for more than 25 years, Murty will retire from her role in December 2021 and will continue to work on charitable efforts through her family's foundation.