Leading Australian technology companies including Canva, SafetyCulture and Airtasker are rallying their networks to lend a helping hand in India, where the COVID-19 crisis is rapidly deteriorating with almost 383,000 new cases recorded yesterday.
The country is struggling with an under-resourced health system as daily COVID-19 deaths reached a new record yesterday of more than 3,780. If that rate continues, total reported deaths from the pandemic in India would hit a quarter of a million within the week.
In less than 24 hours more than $400,000 has already been pledged to the Aussie Tech for India initiative, which is also supported by AirTree Ventures and Blackbird Ventures.
The initiative has been launched in partnership with the organisation Medical Oxygen for All which is sourcing medical supplies and coordinating their distribution on the ground.
"The evolving COVID-19 challenges in India aren't about a global shortage of oxygen the challenge is economical," says Canva's co-founder and COO Cliff Obrecht.
"The medical supplies are out there immediate and decisive action is required to save lives," he says.
"We have both a social and moral responsibility to do as much as we can to support our community in India."
Starting today, all proceeds from media purchases on Canva will be donated directly to relief efforts in India, with a message appearing in the Canva editor helping raise awareness across the company's global community of more than 55 million people.
The company has also launched a range of new India-specific templates with information from the local government and World Health Organisation to assist public health officials with sharing accurate and timely information.
"While each oxygen unit costs thousands of dollars, it only takes $92 to provide enough oxygen to save a life. We've been amazed by how quickly tech leaders in Australia have rallied together in response to the crisis unfolding in India," adds Anish Sinha, a co-founder and coordinator behind the Medical Oxygen for All program.
The Aussie Tech for India program has already seen a number of business and technology leaders across Australia join the campaign, highlighting the important role and responsibility of the Australian tech ecosystem to use its network and resources to support the global community in times of crisis and need.
"It's imperative we support India's critical care facilities as the situation escalates. I started SafetyCulture intent on finding a way to keep people in the workplace safe. We're committed to this challenge every day and eager to join the tech community in taking positive, pragmatic steps towards supporting this crisis," says Luke Anear, founder and chief executive officer of SafetyCulture.
"Our hearts go out to the people of India during this incredibly challenging time. One of our values at Airtasker is 'people matter' and we're grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside Aussie tech companies to support the people of India," adds Tim Fung, co-founder and chief executive officer of Airtasker.
Blackbird and Airtree Ventures have also reaffirmed that the technology ecosystem is a global community, with an important responsibility to have a positive impact on the world.
"This is an incredible initiative. We are more than happy to support this work and hope together we can save some lives in India - a country that is a friend and neighbour of Australia," said Daniel Petre, co-founder and chair at AirTree Ventures.
"The technology ecosystem is a global community. We all have a responsibility to come together and do what we can to help India during this health crisis," says Rick Baker, general partner at Blackbird Ventures.
Not only is Indian culture an integral part of modern Australia - including the business community - but the nation is also one of our leading trading partners with two-way trade worth almost AUD$14 billion in 2020, according to UN Comtrade statistics.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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