The United States has been seeing some amount of turmoil ever since its president, Donald Trump, announced a travel ban that restricts the entry of visitors from seven largely Muslim nations. The unprecedented move, which also turns away refugees from war-torn nations such as Syria, has been decried from various quarters, including the United Nations that has called this move “mean-spirited.”
Given that professionals from the thriving IT industry in the Silicon Valley have been largely affected, Indian-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai took it upon himself to donate $2 million of his own money towards aiding refugees across the world. His efforts were matched by Google employees who also donated $2 million together.
This total sum, according to reports, is the largest humanitarian fund ever raised by Google in its history.
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When the ban was initially announced, Google noted that just under 200 employees were directly affected by it. The money that has been collected will be sent to the American Civil Liberties Union and Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Beyond donating, employees from eight centres of Google and its parent company Alphabet also staged a walk-out on Monday to express their solidarity towards those protesting and fighting the ban. Given that Pichai himself entered the country as an immigrant, he, along with one of Google’s founders Sergey Brin (an immigrant himself), addressed the employees with emotional testaments of their own.
Forbes has quoted Pichai as saying, “This is something, there are some values, which are really near and dear to your heart. It’s foundational and it’s something you should never compromise on. The thing we’ve been debating for the past three days is one of them.”
While it is still unclear how this travel ban will continue to affect people across the world, for now one of India’s favourite sons has set an example for the true meaning of compassion.