Covid Care Scheme and other social responsibility initiatives aim to control virus spread
IDFC First Bank has announced the launch of “Ghar Ghar Ration”, an employee-funded programme for its low-income customers whose livelihoods have been affected by Covid-19. The bank also announced a comprehensive programme for families of employees who have lost their lives to Covid-19, and a number of other corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives aimed at complementing the government drive towards controlling the spread of the virus.
The employee-funded customer support system, ie., ‘Ghar Ghar Ration’ programme, will include:
a) Contribution from their personal income towards setting up a Customer Covid Care Fund to provide relief to 50,000 Covid-affected low-income IDFC First Bank customers. Employees of the bank have contributed equivalent to 1-30 days salary for the purpose.
b) Supplying ration kits to such 50,000 low-income customers whose livelihood have been impacted by the pandemic.
c) Each ration kit will include 10 kg rice/ flour, 2 kg dal (lentils), 1 kg sugar and salt, 1 kg cooking oil, 5 packets of assorted spices, tea, biscuits and other essentials needed to support a small family for about a month.
d) The ration kits are being directly delivered to customers’ homes with a personal touch from the bank. In rural locations, they are being delivered physically by employees, and in urban locations, employees are providing pre-paid cards worth Rs 1,800 to affected customers, which can be redeemed against these essential supplies.
e) Impacted customers can directly contact the nearby branch to seek support under this programme. Even overdue customers are eligible to get benefits under it.
f) Under the pilot programme, employees have already successfully distributed 1,000 ration kits in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana.
V Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO, IDFC First Bank, said, “While we cannot solve all problems considering the magnitude of the crisis, we want to support our customers to the extent we can, and hence our “Ghar Ghar Ration” programme, under which our employees contributed varying amounts from a day’s salary to a month’s salary, to create a Covid Customer Care Fund. We then decided to use this Fund for directly supporting our customers whose livelihood is affected due to Covid-19. Our employees will personally supply essential ration to our affected customers. We have been driving the philosophy of “Customer First” at our bank and we felt there is no better way to instil this philosophy in our employees than by directly contributing to the welfare of our affected customers.”
The Bank has also launched a comprehensive Employee Covid Care Scheme 2021, to support the families of employees who have lost their lives due to Covid-19, with retrospective effect from the start of the pandemic. The scheme comprises the following:
a. Group Term Life of 4 times Total Fixed Pay or Rs 30 lakh, whichever is higher
b. Salary credits to continue for nominee for 2 years
c. Waiver of all Employee Loans availed by employee for incidents till June 30, 2021
d. Home loan waiver limit at Rs25 lakh for any casualty before June 30, 2021. Beyond this date, employees are expected to get their loans insured.
e. Extension of Mediclaim insurance of employee’s family for 24 months
f. Scholarship up to Rs 10,000 monthly to 2 children till graduation
g. Employment to spouse on merit
h. Skill training entitlement of Rs 2 lakh for spouse who don’t avail of the employment opportunity or are not eligible
i. Funeral expense up to Rs 30,000
j. Relocation assistance to family of Rs 50,000
k. Pro-rata bonus payout for period served this year
l. Personalised financial advisory for affected family
m. Salary advances up to Rs 3 lakh at 0 per cent interest for 24 months for employees to meet unexpected expenses in case someone in their family is infected.
In addition, the bank is organising Covid-19 vaccination drives for its employees and also reimbursing the cost of vaccination if obtained from elsewhere. Other facilities for employees include free 24x7 Doctor Helpline for Covid-19, assistance for testing at minimum charges, discounted pricing for home isolation packages and hospitalisation assistance for employees and their family on best effort basis.
The bank has also launched a Jankari-mein-Samajdhari Programme, to emphasise urgency for Covid-19 vaccination, and to clear misconceptions relating to it. Under this programme, the Bank is reaching out to over five million of its customers in semi-urban and rural locations through digital means and distributing animated films through SMS links in nine different languages across Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The bank has also launched a Oxygen Concentrator Donation programme, under which, it has arranged oxygen concentrators for hospitals in 42 rural branches to meet the shortage of the same in rural hospitals.
.Under the Gaon-Gaon Mask programme, the bank is enabling 64 Gram Sakhis (village level women entrepreneurs) working with the Bank’s flagship Swetdhara programme in rural Madhya Pradesh, to lead local rural teams to stitch 1,00,000 masks. This creates livelihoods for the women entrepreneurs and the masks stitched by them are distributed to vulnerable rural communities, thus limiting the spread of the virus.
It has also launched a Mask Distribution programme to distribute over 4 lakh masks in rural and urban areas across 11 states to curb the spread of Covid-19 virus.
It is also extending cash relief supportto 250 vulnerable families who have lost an earning member of their family to Covid-19 with cash relief support of Rs 10,000 in partnership with Give India.