Maharashtra-headquartered two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto has announced a slew of policies to support its employees and the community at large in the fight against the 2nd wave of the Covid pandemic.
The latest policy announcement is in addition to several initiatives already undertaken by the company over the past one year. The company says Covid has shown that mental well-being of employees is as important as physical, and they need to be cared for in a wholesome manner.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said: “When asked how should we treat others, Ramana Maharshi replied, 'There are no others'. It is with this sense of oneness that we shall do our utmost for any extended families of Bajaj Auto who might be devastated by the loss of their loved ones who went beyond the call of duty in the face of this pandemic.”
As part of the initiative, Bajaj Auto says in the unfortunate event of an employee’s death due to Covid, his/her family will receive monetary support up to a period of two years after their demise. The company will also assist in dependant children’s education till graduation in any field of their choice. In addition to this, there will be a 5-year hospitalisation insurance for all family members of the deceased employee.
Bajaj Group’s commitment to the war against Covid was signalled by its pledge of a total of Rs 300 crore towards various government, local administration and NGO initiatives, including the procurement of 12 oxygen plants and several other respiratory support equipment since the onset of the pandemic last year.
Apart from financial contributions, the OEM had already started facilities for tests and treatment at its multiple Covid care facilities, all equipped with professional medical care and 24x7 monitoring. It has also extended the support of its engineers who have worked closely with government authorities to audit the oxygen systems at more than 70 hospitals across districts in Maharashtra to prevent wastage of this precious resource.
During the first wave, the company had started a 32-bed facility at its Akurdi plant that operates from eight buildings and provides free treatment by trained medical personnel. This was in addition to its other Covid centres in Waluj (200 beds), Chakan (16-bed) and Pantnagar (15-bed). While a certain proportion of beds are reserved for the company’s employees and its staff, the remaining serve the requirements of the respective communities.
Starting from June 2020, more than 4,400 tests were conducted in-house to help employees, family members, contract workmen in early detection of infection. It has also tied up with various municipal corporations to set up vaccination camps to inoculate its employees and their families.
The Waluj centre has been set up under the aegis of Kamalnayan Bajaj Hospital. This Covid care centre began as a 36-bed facility in June 2020 and has since been expanded to a 200-bed facility. It was started for Bajaj Auto’s workers and their families but now serves not just its employees but also the community around the plant. More than 1,140 patients have recovered at this facility.
As part of the initiatives in Waluj, the oxygen production project at the Primary Health Centre – set up on behalf of Janakidevi Bajaj Foundation – was also inaugurated recently.
The company has tied up with Akurdi Hospital and the Pune Municipal Corporation to set up vaccination camps to inoculate its employees, their families, and the extended workforce. It is also talking to vaccine providers in accordance with the rules framed by the government for procurement of vaccines.
Bajaj Auto’s initiatives to help combat Covid-19 have not been limited to creating medical infrastructure but have also touched lives by providing food to daily labourers and the needy since last year. It has distributed 7,500 food packets, and continues to do so, from its Akurdi plant in response to an appeal by the MIDC. The company has also enabled local police with motorcycles and supported auto-rickshaw drivers with food packets during the lockdown.