The group is partnering with Feeding America in the U.S. and Goonj in India.
Indian American nonprofit Indiaspora has raised $500,000 to fight hunger among vulnerable populations affected by Covid-19 in the United States and India.
The amount was raised in contributions from the group’s leadership network, it said in a press release, adding that the campaign continues as a grassroots initiative on the organization’s signature online platform ChaloGive.org.
Indiaspora said there has been an outpouring of support from Indian Americans in the aftermath of the pandemic, with several community organizations leading relief efforts.
One of the lead donors to the campaign is Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist Anand Rajaraman and his wife, Kaushie Adiseshan, the release said.
“We are facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19,” said Rajaraman. “The drastic measures necessary to control this pandemic have created special challenges for vulnerable sections of society across the world, particularly in India and the US. Indiaspora has the opportunity to unite the diaspora to quickly and decisively help in the midst of this crisis.”
Indiaspora said the deciding factor behind its new campaign was the sudden exposure of a large swath of people to hunger in both the United States and India since the onset of Covid.
“In the U.S. more than 37 million people face food insecurity, with food banks struggling to meet a massive increase in need,” it said. “In India, nearly 140 million migrant workers have been displaced and remain in dire need of food and other essentials.”
“While all eyes are on frontline hospitals, millions in America and across the globe suffer silently from a growing and equally alarming epidemic of food insecurity as the Covid-19 crisis threatens to push already struggling families deeper into poverty,” said Sejal Hathi, an Indiaspora board member and physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Now more than ever is the time for communities like Indiaspora’s to come together and rise to this call to feed people in need. I’m so proud to witness exactly this commitment to seva.”
Indiaspora is partnering with two reputed nonprofits in the United States and India — Feeding America and Goonj — to distribute food to the needy in the two countries.
Feeding America provides emergency food assistance poor people across America. “The nation and our food bank network are facing challenges unlike anything we’ve seen in our organization’s history,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are truly grateful to Indiaspora for its support of Feeding America through the ChaloGive for COVID-19 campaign. During this time of uncertainty, the generous donations derived from this effort will help bring much-needed food and hope to countless families facing hunger across the U.S.”
In India, Indiaspora is working with Goonj, founded by Anshu Gupta, a Magsaysay Award winner. Goonj, which provides disaster relief, rehabilitation and community development, has already initiated relief work, distributing food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in 14 Indian states.
“Despite our extensive experience of working in disasters, the scale and still unfolding nature of this long-tailed disaster calls for massive resource mobilization for short-, mid- and long-term work,” said Gupta. “We are delighted to partner with Indiaspora on this campaign as an opportunity to engage the Indian American community and our well wishers from across the world in supporting their fellow citizens in this difficult hour.”
According to Indiasproa, contributions made at ChaloGive.org are fully tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
An additional $100,000 donated online by April 15 will be matched by Indiaspora’s members, the release added.
This is the second ChaloGive online campaign launched by Indiaspora. The inaugural campaign was launched last October coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.