True to its philosophy of always putting 'Nation First', ITC mobilized concerted efforts to battle the pandemic in its successive waves. We consider it a privilege to have been able to do our bit to help India's people. We supported select government hospitals in Telangana with life-saving medical oxygen from our paperboards manufacturing unit at Bhadrachalam. Over 100 MT of liquid oxygen was supplied.
Inspired by the Company's abiding commitment to serve national priorities, as embodied in its credo of 'Sab Saath Badhein', ITC heightened its efforts to ameliorate the acute challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first wave hit the country, ITC set up a COVID Contingency Fund of Rs 215 crores to support the most vulnerable. Essential foods and hygiene products were speedily distributed in 25 States and Union Territories, and cooked meals distributed among the destitute.
An unfortunate fallout of the pandemic was the devastating loss of jobs and incomes, and ITC redoubled its efforts to create livelihoods and develop community assets to aid vulnerable communities. ITC also enabled daily wage earners access the benefits of the central government's MGNREGA scheme. This helped generate 55 lakh person days of work in nearly 2,500 villages, including the building of over 5,600 crucial water harvesting structures.
During the second wave, addressing the need to ramp up the availability of oxygen and enhance medical infrastructure, ITC swiftly initiated the airlifting of 24 cryogenic containers to ease the bottlenecks in transporting oxygen. ITC also sourced more than 1,200 concentrators and 22 oxygen generators to help enhance the country's existing healthcare infrastructure.
ITC also helped set up three temporary medical facilities with 600 beds in record time in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.