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Exclusive: Paytm forms philanthropic arm ‘Paytm Foundation’, infuses Rs 10 Cr to fight Covid-19

After ride-hailing firm Ola, Paytm has formed a foundation for philanthropic purposes. The board of Paytm’s parent entity One97 Communications has passed a special resolution to approve setting up a charitable foundation for societal causes. 

According to regulatory filings, the new organisation will be called Paytm foundation and will work towards providing education to girls in rural areas, relief to poor, education, medical relief, and advancement of any other object of public utility.

The board has also approved an infusion of Rs 10 crore to the corpus to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s worth noting that Paytm had announced its goal to contribute Rs 500 crore towards the PM Cares Fund.

Homegrown ride-hailing firm Ola has been operating its social welfare arm Ola Foundation since December 2016. According to information available on its website, the company has so far raised over Rs 25 crores and runs several programs in areas including employment-linked skill training and financial literacy, among others.

Ever since March this year, several companies and investors had launched initiatives to help people and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Omidyar Network created a Covid response task force and contributed Rs 7.5 crore to support daily wage earners and workforce engaged in the gig economy whereas Zomato and Ola also launched campaigns to help riders and drivers.

For the past six years, Zomato has been supporting Feeding India, an NGO which feeds the underprivileged. It has a network of 26,000 volunteers across 100 cities in India and claims to have served over 36 million meals to date.

Early this year, Zerodha’s co-founder Nithin Kamath, his wife Seema Patil and brother Nikhil Kamath incorporated a new entity: Rainmatter Land development. The firm will buy land and convert them into farmlands, agroforests and resorts to build and conserve sustainable forests using modern techniques.

The incorporation of Paytm Foundation is a timely and welcome move as steps like these from the unicorns of the Indian startup ecosystem goes a long way in addressing real-world issues which need the humane and philanthropic touch. 

The SoftBank-backed company will run its philanthropic activities through the new entity. With the growing fortune of local startups, days aren’t far when large scale consumer internet companies contribute a large pie towards helping the marginalised and the underserved of the society.

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