Jack Ma donates emergency supplies to all barring India, Twitter asks what Indian billionaires doing
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma on Saturday pledged to donate masks, test kits,protective suits and ventilators to a large number of countries. India wasconspicuously missing from the list
The 18th richest man in the world Jack Ma ( Mukesh Ambani is the 19th ) on Saturday pledged to donate a range of emergency supplies to a large number of countries, including the US and Italy. In a series of tweets over the past few days, the Chinese billionaire stated the following:
Go Asia! We will donate emergency supplies (1.8M masks, 210K test kits, 36K protective suits, plus ventilators & thermometers) to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Delivering fast is not easy, but we'll get it done!
Hospitals in outbreak countries will face huge challenges coping with the surge of patients. The clinical practitioners on the front lines of China’s fight against COVID-19 have developed a handbook of treatment and care protocols for healthcare providers. I need your help to share this handbook quickly to hospitals, doctors, nurses and anyone who needs to know around the world. It is available here:
Africa can be one step ahead of the coronavirus. To each of the 54 African countries, we will donate 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields. Thank you
Indian netizens were quick to spot that India was missing from the list and wondered why. While no explanation was forthcoming, some inkling was given in the following tweet:
“Let me answer some questions from Indian netizens. When China needed help, the Indian Government immediately banned the export of all medical equipment. We as Chinese will never forget what India did.”
There was a more sober explanation, that Jack Ma’s foundation chose to donate to countries which cannot afford or do not manufacture the stuff. India moreover has set up a SARC Fund to help neighbouring countries.
Whatever be the explanation, the Chinese billionaire’s pledge turned the focus on the role of Indian billionaires in tackling the pandemic.
“Where are the Indian Billionaires? In Italy, 18 Billionaires donate $28 Million to fight Coronavirus. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Jack Ma & Li Ka-Shing have also donated huge money,” read a reaction.
India has 138 Dollar billionaires and the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani’s net worth is estimated between Rupees four and five thousand Crore. Chairman of the Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra, who is the 52 nd richest Indian is said to have a net worth of around 260 Crore Rupees. And a tweet by him the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a Janata Curfew on Sunday and asked people to bang pans and pots to thank caregivers, invited the ire of people.
This is what Anand Mahindra had tweeted: I will be on my balcony with my family and we will applaud our unsung heroes without pause for the entire 5 minutes. One nation, One Voice.
Are Indian billionaires only good at standing on balconies and bang their pots, asked Tweeples. Incensed Twitter users asked why Indian billionaires are conspicuous by their silence while billionaires in other countries have been busy helping out the effort to cope with the crisis.
To be fair to Anand Mahindra, there is no evidence that he has not or he will not donate enough. Indeed, a day earlier he had also tweeted the following, which showed he was aware of the gravity of the situation:
*The virus will eventually be conquered, but it will have left behind a global recession. The costs of that are incalculably high at this time. The most fearsome toll will be on small businesses, the self-employed & those whose lives depend on meagre daily wages.
* Apart from the toll on lives, the legacy of COVID-19 may well be deaths due to stress, loss of livelhoods, a rise in homelessness & in extreme situations, civil unrest. The only global experience that has lessons for us in the current situation is the last world war.
* In the aftermath of WW2, the U.S came up with the Marshall plan to revive Europe, effectively a giant fiscal pump-priming. In the U.S, the govt. dramatically dismantled regulations & opened up the economy to trade. These actions led to a boom-cycle that stretched to 1975
* This time, there will be no victors, only the vanquished. So every country will have to create its own Post ‘VirusWar” Marshall plan & take care of those in society who are hit the hardest. Perhaps we too can build the foundations of a sustained global growth cycle.