Telecom firm Airtel is extending the free vaccination programme to nearly 80,000 employees of over 15,000 partners and distributors to prioritise inoculation of frontline staff such as store and field service executives amid the severe second wave of the pandemic. Airtel has partnered with Apollo Hospitals to vaccinate its employees and their dependent family members. The programme is already underway, with camps being set up in 35 cities across India. The telco is bearing the cost of the vaccination drive.
Airtel Circle CEOs have now written to partners, informing them that it is "extending this free vaccination initiative to your frontline staff such as customer relations executives and field sales executives".
Sources said the free vaccination drive would cover nearly 80,000 employees of over 15,000 partners and distributors. "These employees will be able to get themselves vaccinated at special camps being organised by Airtel at 35 locations across India," said a note by Airtel Circle CEO, seen by PTI.
Alternately, these frontline staff of partner networks can get vaccinated on their own, with Airtel reimbursing the cost on submission of the vaccination certificate and original bill.
"I would request you to urge your employees to take full benefit of this initiative and ensure the safety of everyone around us," Airtel said. The company said it remains optimistic that things will improve soon as the country opens up with all necessary safety precautions.
Airtel with the support of its partners worked round the clock to keep customers connected, in unprecedented times as the nation battled a massive second wave of COVID-19.
"Team Airtel has ensured that millions of Indians can work, children can study and people can consult doctors online from the safety of their homes," Airtel said.
This would not have been possible without the collective efforts by partners, especially frontline staff, the telco said, adding that partners were an integral part of the Airtel family. "We have always gone the extra mile to care for our partners, who are an integral part of the Airtel family. This year, we extended a special COVID insurance cover to all frontline associates and partner employees, including Airtel store staff and field sales executives, who are out there serving customers," it said. It is pertinent to mention here that the telecom services were categorised as essential services amid COVID-induced lockdown and movement curbs across various states.
Remote working and social distancing norms, implemented since the start of the pandemic, have driven data usage to new highs, pushing telecom operators to aggressively invest in network capacities.