Coronavirus: Devki billionaire Narendra Raval donates Sh100m oxygen
Kenyan business tycoon and the chairman of Devki Group Narendra Raval on Thursday donated Sh100 million worth of oxygen to all government hospitals in the country.
The oxygen will be used to combat the deadly coronavirus that has infected 110 people in Kenya.
“I hereby confirm the pledge to donate oxygen worth Sh 100 million to all government hospitals throughout the country. Oxygen will be collected from our Mombasa, Ruiru, and Athi River Devki Steel Mills Ltd Factories in exchange of empty cylinders,” he said in a letter.
Mr Raval added that he was ready to dedicate all his assets if he was required to do so.
In January, Raval said his company was working with Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to set up a Sh300 milion cancer centre as part of its corporate social responsibility.
— Dr. Narendra Raval EBS (Guru) (@RavalNarendra) April 2, 2020
“If the need arises, I am ready to pledge all my assets to save my country and the people of Kenya from the Covid-19 devil,” Mr Naval posted on Twitter.
In his previous tweet, he urged people to stay at home to curb further spread of Covid-19.
“We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life,” he posted.
In 2017 during an interview with Forbes, Mr Naval said he had pledged to donate at least half of his fortune to charity.
“I have decided in my will that I don’t want to go on keeping the money for myself,” Narendra said. “I will keep 50% for my children, and the other 50% will go to charity in Kenya.”
Mr Naval in 2015 was featured in Forbes’ ranking of Africa’s richest people with a fortune of more than $400 million.
He left India in 1982, where he was a temple assistant to take up a job in a hardware shop in Nairobi.
By 1990, he already owned a shop in Nairobi’s famous Gikomba market. He operated the shop with his wife, Neeta a medical doctor.
They took a loan in 1992 and started a roofing and fencing business, developing a small steel rolling mill near Athi River on the outskirts of Nairobi.
That business is what is now Devki Group, a company with steel and cement manufacturing facilities in Kenya, Uganda, and Congo.