Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, has partnered with GiveIndia Foundation, Swasth Foundation, and Eka Care to provide Covid relief, in the rural community, primarily to their mini grid customers and ESCO employees.
The relief would be in terms of meeting oxygen supply through oxygen cylinders and concentrators for Covid patients, and facilitating in-person and telemedicine consultations for those with chronic conditions, said a statement.
Smart Power India and the NGOs would also help in procuring and distributing PPE kits to health professionals, essential workers and others.
The mini grid villages in India have observed an intense health crisis in 2021 as compared to 2020. As per the recent surveys conducted by SPI across mini-grid villages, 77 per cent participants expressed Covid care facilities are inaccessible in case of emergency.
Last year, the main concern for rural households was livelihood. This year it is about access to healthcare.
Lack of awareness, along with that of Covid-appropriate behaviour, still exists in the rural community with half the participants surveyed believing that their communities aren’t taking preventive measures like masking and sanitising.
Smart Power India CEO Jaideep Mukherji said: “This year, we see an urgent need to address the issue of lack of access to quality medical services. Health and safety of our mini grid customers and ESCO employees are some of our immediate priorities. These partnerships aim to support our ailing health infrastructure.”
In 2020, SPI had launched a Customer Voucher Scheme (CVS) for mini-grid customers.