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Covid in India: Dubai firm sends oxygen machines for employees’ family, friends


It has also created Covid helplines across India

A company in Dubai has been providing its staff with oxygen machines that they can take as they fly home to their families in India. It has also set up helplines across Covid-struck India — not only to help its employees struggling amid the crisis back home, but also to support anyone in need.

From sending oxygen concentrators to offering free online doctor consultations, counselling and financial assistance, EFS Facilities Services Group is going the extra mile to lend a hand.

As the Covid wave became a tragedy for hundreds of thousands of Indians, the firm swung into action, considering that almost 50 per cent of its employees are from India.

It created hotlines in eight Indian cities, with its in-house staff — such as human resources executives, finance professionals and other support teams — manning the phones and responding to e-mails and WhatsApp messages.

“As we gauged the gravity of the situation of the crisis in India, we realised it was time to act now and set up some sort of a support mechanism for our staff, their families, neighbours and anyone who needed help. This is when we launched our Covid India helplines across different states in India,” said Tariq Chauhan, EFS Group CEO.

“We had launched a few Covid helpline numbers last year in March when the pandemic struck, with our teams providing counselling and guidance to our staff affected by the pandemic. However, we realised it was time to up our game with this second deadly wave of Covid that has swept across India.”

They also arranged oxygen concentrators that their staff could take home to their families and friends. “We have launched free online doctor consultations, assistance of medical supplies and personal protective equipment, counselling and financial assistance to needy and deserving staff as well as to the community members (referred by our staff),” Chauhan added.

Taher Jhanjharya, Group CFO at EFS, added: “We have around 5,000 staff members from around 200 cities across India. While some of our staff went back on emergency to be with their family, others here were worried for their folks back home. Keeping the wellbeing of our staff in mind, we are now keeping track of how many staff members or their family members are Covid positive and are sending them messages and taking updates on their health on a daily basis to see to it they are okay.”

Since many of their employees are blue-collar workers who did not have enough savings, the company also offered them temporary loans, salary advances, leave encashments, and ad-hoc financial aid for those who need them the most, said Jhanjharya.

“We have also teamed up with three medical service providers who have doctors in UAE, India and Saudi Arabia. We have ensured that these doctors are available for our staff whenever needed. In case any employee has symptoms, we connect them to the doctor who tells them the initial care required. They are also authorised to prescribe medication.”

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