Corporate India has rallied to help victims of the country’s worst floods in half-a-century, signing fat cheques in the middle of an economic slowdown to help millions hit by the wayward Kosi river in Bihar.
The flood has turned millions homeless and has led to losses amounting to hundreds of crore. Most of India Inc’s efforts have followed the time-tested route of asking employees to give up a day’s salary to help the victims – with sound response in many cases.
Nine public sector companies operating in the power sector that includes National Thermal Power Corporation, Power Grid Corporation and Power Finance Corporation among others have collectively contributed Rs 33.5 crore. Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde handed over the cheque to the Prime Minister on Thursday.
MMTC and its employees have contributed Rs 50 lakh.
Private sector companies are also galvanised. Anil Ambani’s Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group which has more than one lakh people on its rolls has asked for voluntary contribution of a day’s pay from its employees.
His brother Mukesh Ambani’s petroleum-led Reliance Industries, which is India’s largest company by market capitalization, is still rallying its forces.
“We are considering a deduction of one day’s salary that will be purely voluntary,” said a company spokesperson.
On similar lines, HDFC Bank has opened an account—‘Bihar Flood Relief Staff Pool Account’—in which 43,000 odd employees’ of the bank will give their individual contributions. The money will collected by next Monday and will be donated to the Ramakrishna Mission.
ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector bank, has decided to send a team of employees on Friday to go and assess the situation and figure out details. “We are committed to the cause and most likely we will work towards rehabilitation of the affected people,” said K Ramkumar, group head, human resources, ICICI Bank.