Bengaluru: Amazon India today announced a ‘Delivering Smiles’ program to address the urgent need among students from low-income and under-served communities for smart devices for online education in these times of the pandemic. The program will make it possible for customers across India to easily give to this cause, offering the choice to gift a device but also making it possible to make smaller contributions that would help provide for these devices by partnering through well-known NGOs.
Amazon will kickstart the donation campaign by directly donating more than 5,000 4G-enabled tablet computers to 18 NGOs partnering with government and aided schools as well as childcare centres to help the children in need. Customers will be able to gift mobile phones and tablet computers in the sub-INR 10,000 range basis NGO wishlists on Amazon’s Gift a smile page, or contribute monetarily through Amazon Pay towards devices by clicking on the “Donations” button. Pratham Education Foundation, India Stem Foundation and Peepul are among the prominent NGOs that have come together to support this initiative.
This is in addition to the long-running Amazon Gift a Smile program where Customers can also create impact through contributions to 50+ NGOs that support a variety of causes, from Healthcare & Nutrition, Senior Citizens, Empowerment of women and girls, Education, Care for differently abled, to Disaster and pandemic and Skills & Livelihood. Customers can choose a cause on the Gift a Smile page (Including the Devices Campaign), and select an NGO to see the list of items they’re in need of. They can then add one or more items to cart and place the order to be delivered to the NGO’s address (automatically available when placing the order).
In a message to Amazon Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister for Education said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on our lives. Whilst this crisis has brought unprecedented challenges, it is a pleasure to see Amazon India, continuing to pursue its commitments through initiatives like Delivering Smiles to address the urgent needs of students from low-income and marginalized communities by providing means of education. Initiatives like this addresses the need of the hour and will help many students to continue their education online.”
Speaking about the ‘Delivering Smiles’ initiative, Manish Tiwary, VP, Amazon.in, said, “The education of thousands of children has been disrupted this year due to the pandemic and children from low-income communities have been very badly impacted. Less than 20% of these children have access to devices for online education, and supporting the remaining students requires the collective effort of all of us. Through this ‘Delivering Smiles’ campaign, everyone can contribute easily, and deliver impact at scale with vetted and credible organizations that are making a tangible difference. We hope Amazon’s contribution of 5,000 devices will grow into a national movement with the support of our customers”.
“Rahul Gupta, COO, Akanksha Foundation said, “We work with thousands of children in the public education system, several of whose parents have lost their livelihoods. Even if remote learning is short term, there is a fundamental shift to hybrid learning systems and at Akanksha we see blended learning through digital devices as a long term solution to learning even after schools re-open. Without access to devices, over 80% of school-going children will be left out of this shift. That’s why ‘Delivering Smiles’ is a timely initiative by Amazon to deliver meaningful and immediate impact in a simple, effective, and scalable manner and with this donation we will be able to support all our Class 8 students. We hope all of India participates enthusiastically, for the benefit of the less privileged.”
It’s easy for customers to give back this festive season on Amazon.in. While shopping for the festive season and gifts for family and friends, customers can support their favorite charitable organization by shopping Gift a Smile via the Amazon app on iPhones and Android phones, or by starting at Gift a Smile on a web browser.
Additional Ways Amazon is Giving Back to Communities. In addition to ‘Delivering Smiles’ and donations, Amazon is supporting communities in a range of ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to raise public awareness on the novel coronavirus and the precautionary safety measures that needed to be adopted in the daily lives. Amazon also partnered with several NGOs across the country to donate hygiene aid kits, personal protective equipment kits and groceries in support of healthcare workers and communities most affected by COVID-19. These donations were distributed across Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi – NCR, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh through our NGO partners. Around 100,000 N95 masks were donated to hospitals who were facing acute shortage of supplies and critical ICU & hospital equipment were donated in Pune.