Case Study

India Protectors Alliance: Protecting Our Protectors

By Samhita Social Ventures

April 24, 2021

Read Time: 6 Mins

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on nations and people across the world. Even as the virus raged on, frontline workers, including health workers and sanitation workers, took on the role of our protectors and continued to work in high risk environments to ensure our safety.

States Impacted by the India Protectors Alliance (IPA)

In order to protect our protectors, the India Protectors Alliance was constituted in early 2020 by Samhita, Hindustan Unilever, RBL Bank and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to equip workers in healthcare and sanitation sectors with the necessary tools to pursue livelihood activities safely and lower the risks involved in dealing with COVID-19 response and prevention at the frontline.

In a year’s time, the IPA became a collaborative of 45 companies and foundations who supported the most pressing needs of India’s healthcare & sanitation ecosystem. All the interventions of the Alliance were guided by experts at the Cipla Foundation, the NFSSM Alliance and Dr Nachiket Mor.

The Alliance has impacted more than 19,00,000 lives across states, throughout India.

IPA’s Approach: what we did & how we did it

The Alliance takes a holistic approach towards tackling some of the most pertinent healthcare & sanitation challenges in India. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IPA’s interventions can be divided into 3 buckets:

Prevent: Provision of Essential safety kits to frontline workers

Prepare: Ensuring access to security schemes & entrepreneurship training

Provide: Donating essential healthcare equipment

Curating targeted initiatives focused on areas in most need

The India Protectors Alliance initiated a city-wide COVID-19 response and relief plan in Pune to support 19,00,000+ frontline healthcare and sanitation workers and the communities they serve. This was achieved in part by facilitating a collaboration between Pune Municipal Corporation and 10 companies including RBL Bank, Crompton Greaves, American Express, HSBC, Bajaj Electricals, Arvind and SBI Capital.

IPA’s Response to India’s second wave of COVID-19 

As the second wave of COVID-19 caused a near breakdown of India’s healthcare systems, India Protectors Alliance initiated programs addressing some of the key pain points 

  1. Oxygen Requirements – Provision of high flow medical grade oxygen concentrators to:
    – Hospitals and nursing homes serving low-income communities in high disease burden areas.
    – Families that need oxygen concentrators and cylinders to treat mild cases at home.
  1. Vaccination for daily wage workers and low-income communities who are likely to get left out of the current vaccination program.
  1. Health Safety Net for vulnerable groups through a Health Savings & Insurance Account, in order to protect livelihoods through low-cost savings accounts, unlimited medical advice and health insurance.

IPA Supporting Public Institutions

#PehnoSahi – A corporate mask wearing initiative

Additionally, the Alliance collectively championed mask usage through an online campaign called #Pehnosahi. The campaign was shared by several industry leaders and Alliance members to urge their employees and networks to wear masks correctly for a safe back-to-work transition.


“The team at the India Protectors Alliance has impressed us with their national reach – from Maharashtra, to Delhi, to Kolkata – to support our frontline healthcare and sanitation workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to their guidance, our support for critical hospital equipment and PPE kits across these critical locations was executed in a timely, hassle-free manner.”

– Sandeep Batra – Chief Financial Officer, Crompton Greaves

“India Protectors Alliance was extremely helpful and effective in gathering the COVID-19 needs from our stakeholder communities. Its widespread implementation network and total commitment enabled us to expeditiously support the healthcare workers within these communities through the distribution of PPE kits.”

– Sudhanshu Vats – Chief Executive Officer, Essel Propack


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