Mars donates USD 2.3mn to India’s fight against COVID-19

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Mars, Incorporated – the global petcare, food and confectionery business responsible for producing some of the world’s best-loved brands such as SNICKERS®, GALAXY®, ORBIT®, DOUBLEMINT®, M&M’s®, SKITTLES®, PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS® and ROYAL CANIN®, – has pledged to offer critical medical equipment worth $2.3 Million (INR 16.7 Crores) as part of its ongoing efforts to support the community in battling the current health crisis in India.

In partnership with international organizations such as Oxfam, CARE and Business Fights Poverty – Crown Agents along with local NGO, Sankalp Beautiful World, Mars aims to support access to healthcare, critical medical equipment, medications and services for families and children in need.

Addressing the requirement of support in health infrastructure as raised by medical professionals on the frontline, Mars is providing 404 oxygen concentrators for patients in hospitals as well as home quarantine, 200 oxygen masks and 200 oxygen central pipeline flow meters, transportation from villages to medical or quarantine centers, food rations, and other necessary, life-saving measures.

These resources are intended to provide lasting support that will continue to benefit communities throughout Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Kalpesh R Parmar, General Manager, Mars Wrigley, India, said, “The past few months have been difficult and times like these, require us to step up and support one another. Mars has always been committed to India and the health and well-being of our communities is our priority.

“We have been working with frontline workers and communities in different parts of the country since last year, and this initiative is another step towards ramping up the medical infrastructure. It is heartening to see everyone rallying together to help in whatever way they can,” Parmar said.

As part of the total, the Mars Wrigley Foundation has awarded $300,000 (INR 2.1 Crores) to Save the Children, who in addition to medical equipment and support, will provide broader healthcare services for families and children.

The Tasty Bite Foundation, a non-profit organization of Tasty Bite Eatables Limited, a Mars group entity, has also donated approximately $82,000 (INR 59 Lakhs) to create two healthcare centres with 160 beds each for affected patients and have equipped two hospitals with life-saving equipment and medicines in Maharashtra.

This support is a part of many such initiatives being undertaken by Mars not only for the wellbeing of its workforce, but also for the communities where it operates and sources its ingredients. Mars had earlier rolled out a series of comprehensive health & well-being initiatives, to benefit Associates, contracted workers and people who support the business in India.

This includes corporate vaccination sponsorship for over 6,000 Associates, contractors and their family members to help and encourage them to take this significant step in fighting this battle, along with other support measures.

Sudarshan Suchi, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children India, said,  “The support from the Mars Wrigley Foundation will help us ensure that children survive, thrive, and learn during this challenging period. With this support, we will provide essential healthcare supplies and equipment to children and their families.

“Additionally, we will strengthen our healthcare infrastructure and provide support in rolling out the Government’s vaccine programme. We thank the Mars Wrigley Foundation for awarding USD$300,000 towards our mission to protect a million children and their families in India,” Suchi said.

Amitabh Behar, Oxfam India CEO, said, “The second wave showed how our health infrastructure was under-equipped and under stress. There is an urgent need to strengthen our health infrastructure so that we are prepared for any third wave that is predicted.

“Oxfam India is very happy to partner with Mars to provide relief to the most marginalised people during this crisis in terms of providing support for accessing healthcare facilities, providing critical medical equipment, medications and food rations for families,” Behar said.

Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty, said, “Mars is committed to the well-being of our communities in India and creating a positive impact on the world we want tomorrow. In partnership with Crown Agents and Business Fights Poverty, we aim to provide access to necessary medical support to the ones in need.

“We are humbled to see how the country is standing together in these difficult times and hope that our initiatives will provide some relief to the community,” Torres-Rahman said.

Goutham Chander, Founder & CEO, Sankalp Beautiful World, said, “Mars’ gesture to support front line workers, health care professionals and patients with oxygen concentrators and medical aid is timely. We are indeed thankful to the company.”

Mars entered the Indian market in 2002. Today, there are over 1,000 Associates across Mars Wrigley, Mars Petcare, Mars Food and Royal Canin. Mars is continuing to invest for growth in India and operates four production units in the country to serve customers and grow the local economy.