Bhubaneswar: We are in the midst of an unprecedented situation as the world and India grapples with the threat of COVID 19. As corporate citizens, we in industry must lend our meaningful support to contain this pandemic. Such challenging circumstances indeed call for extraordinary measures. In line with ITC’s credo of ‘Nation First – Sab SaathBadhein’, that focusses on inclusive and sustainable progress, particularly of vulnerable sections many of whom reside in rural India, ITC has geared its value-chain to lend support to the Government in its efforts to fight this threat to the people of India.
Over the past few weeks several initiatives have been implemented in response to the crisis. We are now happy to announce that ITC is setting up a Contingency Fund of Rs 150 crore to address and manage the challenges arising out of this adversity. This fund will be utilised primarily to provide relief to the vulnerable and most needy sections of society who have been harshly impacted by the pandemic and have faced significant disruption in their livelihoods. In addition, the fund will collaborate with District Authorities to provide assistance to the district health and rural healthcareeco-system that reaches out to the weakest sections of society. Further, it is also envisaged that the resources under this fund will be channelised towards the protection and well-being of the ground forces who are doing commendable work to reach medicines, groceries, other essential goods, sourcing of agri-commodities and so on for people across the country during the lockdown, by providing protective personal gear and hygiene products to such frontline warriors.
In these trying times, it is critical to ensure adequate availability of essential food and hygiene products in the country. We are working with state authorities and local administration to ensure that manufacturing and distribution activities continue uninterrupted with bare minimum people. While we practice restraint and social isolation as a group, we will continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, workforce and value chain partners. ITC is committed to support the Government’s efforts and play its part in fighting this pandemic with compassion and resilience.