Despite being one of the most severely impacted manufacturing sectors, the defence industry has come forward to protect the lives and livelihood of not only their employees, but also the people of India. Undoubtedly, the critical and significant contributions made by the defence sector in fighting the impact of COVID-19 has prevented this situation from being even more dire and saved countless lives.
Most recently, during the oxygen crisis faced by hospitals across India, the defence industry helped set up Oxygen Generation plants across the country. During the onset of COVID-19 infections, companies engineered production lines and facilities to manufacture much-needed PPE kits, face shields, masks, sanitizers, and aerosol boxes to aid the fight. The industry also helped mass produce low-cost, portable, disposable, non-invasive ventilators. The industry has also helped in production of some medical equipment for use by hospitals across the country.
In addition, the Indian Defence fraternity has contributed by sponsoring local hospitals and organising logistics for relief efforts logistics. For example, large business houses in partnership with the state governments rolled out free service initiatives like ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ (O2W), which will strengthen oxygen availability by connecting oxygen producers with the hospitals and medical centres in dire need of it. In other places, production premises have been converted into bedded COVID care centre and Vaccination Centres with the help of District administration to alleviate stress on local heath infrastructure.
I am proud to be able to count myself as a member of the defence fraternity for the proactive contributions made by this industry to help alleviate the crisis faced by the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indian Defence industry has proven itself to be a shining example of the Indian spirit, and a worthy flagbearer of the philosophy of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The author is Chairman, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee and Group President – Aerospace, Defence and Steel, Member – Group Executive Board, Mahindra Group