Thoothukudi Sterlite Plant, Its Employees Chip In To Help In Efforts To Tackle Coronavirus In Rural Areas The Sterlite Copper Plant in Thoothukudi. (pic via Twitter)

Employees of Thoothukudi Sterlite Copper have contributed Rs 15 lakh by donating their one-day salary to help support local sanitation and health workers who are in the frontline to tackle the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the industrial city.

On its part, Sterlite Copper, a unit of the UK-based Vedanta Resources, has contributed Rs five crore to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund in the State efforts to overcome the effects of the pandemic virus.

A press release from the company said that the firm had tied up with 10 self-help groups comprising 150 members to manufacture and distributed masks and personal hygiene products in 20 villages in the district.

This will help to implement proactive safeguards against the virus in the rural areas of the district. The company has distributed about 30,000 masks and plans to hand out another 20,000 more.

It is handing over similar masks to truck divers, besides distributing 1,300 litres of liquid handwash, 13,000 bars of soap and 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to them.

In addition, the copper firm has distributed 200 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for use by frontline health workers at the Tuticorin Medical College Hospital and Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital.

The company said it was getting an additional 200 sets of PPEs for use by healthcare personnel. It is also distributing disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite and bleaching powder along with other disinfecting tools in villages.

These could benefit about two lakh people through pre-emptive actions.

Sterlite Copper Chief Executive Officer Pankaj Kumar said the initiatives were the company’s “small way of helping communities around the company during the ongoing pandemic problems.

Of the 1,267 Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu 26 are from Thoothukudi district with one person succumbing to the pandemic.

Sterlite Copper has been shut since 28 May 2018 after protests demanding the closure of the plant turned violent on 22 May 2018. The violence resulted in police firing in which 13 persons were killed.

The closure of Sterlite Copper has impacted Thoothukudi’s economy, while India has turned a net importer of the metal as the closed plant contributed 40 per cent of total production in the country.

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