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Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledges assistance of Rs 135 crore as India struggles with challenging COVID-19 second wave

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Among the assistance would also be donations from about 900 Google employees to the tune of Rs 3.7 crore. (File image)

Sundar Pichai: As India is facing a much more severe second wave of coronavirus, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that he feels devastated to see the grim situation in the country. He took to his official handle on microblogging site Twitter and said that the tech giant and its employees would be providing an assistance of Rs 135 crore to Give India as well as UNICEF so that it can be used for medical supplies, grants that would help in spreading of critical information, and for organisations that would support high-risk communities.

Also read | ‘Heartbroken’, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as he pledges support to India amid raging COVID-19 second wave

Of this amount, Google’s philanthropic arm would give two grants totalling Rs 20 crore – one to Give India and the other to UNICEF, the company said in a statement. Among the assistance would also be donations from about 900 Google employees to the tune of Rs 3.7 crore, while there would also be an increased Ad Grant support of Rs 112 crore. This would allow for public health campaigns like the ones in which the company last year helped MyGov and the WHO to spread critical information regarding the pandemic and the infection.

Apart from this, in the statement, the search engine giant re-emphasised on its products like Maps, Ads, YouTube and Search being equipped with its COVID features, and it stated that it was the best way the company could help people at its end. These features, it said, were available in English as well as eight Indian regional languages. It also stated that further local improvements were constantly being made and efforts were on to highlight authoritative information, including details regarding the places where one could get tested for the infection or could get vaccine administered to protect themself from the disease.

It reiterated that currently, its Maps and Search features showed thousands of vaccination sites, and it added that the company was working to add tens of thousands more such sites for the convenience of people. It also emphasised that it was working closely with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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