Indian American bodies raise millions, mobilize resources for Covid relief in India


Indiaspora opens platform after raising $1 million at May 1 virtual event.

From cash to medicines to oxygen supplies, Indian American organizations are mobilizing resources for Covid relief in India hit by a devastating second wave of the pandemic with 260,000 new cases in last seven days. The total case load is nearing a staggering 20 million.

Indiaspora, a nonprofit community of global Indian diaspora leaders, are launching their ChaloGive for India campaign which began with an initial $1 million raised through their private donor network of members.

“Our hope is that this urgent ChaloGive campaign for India will inspire the broader community to give generously and support India’s fight against Covid-19,” said Ashish Shah, Senior Director, Philanthropy and Community Engagement at Indiaspora.

The grassroots initiative ChaloGive for India will facilitate donations to trusted and vetted high-impact nonprofits that are working on the ground during the second wave of Covid-19 relief, the organization said.

Visitors to will have an option to give toward three major areas of Covid-19 relief.

READ: $100 million worth US Covid relief aid starts arriving in India (April 29, 2021)

First, they can give for creation of urgently needed Covid care centers and makeshift hospitals through nonprofit WISH Foundation;

Second, make direct cash transfer to families who have lost a primary earning member through nonprofit GiveIndia;

Third, they can provide food relief and livelihood assistance for migrant workers and other underserved populations through EdelGive Foundation to nonprofits Goonj and Jan Sahas.

Donors from anywhere in the world can either choose one area to donate to, or make a contribution that will be evenly split between the three areas listed. US donors also will receive a tax exemption.

“India needs all the help it can get and many I know are impacted. This is the time for all of us who can to give generously,” said Indiaspora member, Jay Vijayan, founder and CEO of California-based Tekion Corporation, who donated toward the campaign.

Starting with its inaugural ChaloGive giving campaign in October 2019, Indiaspora launched its second campaign, ChaloGive for Covid-19 in April 2020 during the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis.

READ: Mastercard donates $8.9 million to AIF for India Covid relief efforts (April 30, 2021)

Another leading community organization, the American India Foundation, has received a donation of $8.9 million, its largest ever gift, from Matercard for covid relief efforts.

The donation will be used to buy and place portable hospitals in areas of greatest need across India.

AIF will install “2000 portable beds in India, addressing the immediate healthcare needs of the nation,” which “will help an estimated 2.5 million Indians to gain access to healthcare,” the organization said.

Earlier, AIF said it was sourcing & delivering 500 oxygen concentrators to Delhi hospitals in the next three days to swiftly shore up supplies of oxygen in the capital.

Houston-based Sewa International has ramped up their fundraising goal to $10 million to fight the pandemic’s second devastating wave.

The nonprofit organization said its volunteers in the US and in India, are working round the clock to rush medical equipment and essential supplies to hospitals, institutions, and individuals in India.

READ: Vinod Khosla offers to help Indian hospitals with import of oxygen (April 24, 2021)

Sewa International is seeking the advice of a team of doctors in the US on procuring the appropriate medical equipment and supplies to be shipped to India.

Gitesh Desai, President, Houston Chapter of Sewa International, told ABC 13 News-Houston that 400 oxygen-concentrators have been already shipped to India, and 2,184 more would be shipped shortly.

Sewa which has started ‘Help India Defeat Covid-19’ campaign to ship oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals, is also providing food and medicines to about 10,000 families and more than 1,000 orphanages, and senior citizen centers across the country.

“Sewa is building a Digital Helpdesk to provide critical information on ambulance services, hospital bed availability, and blood and medicinal supplies to people,” aid Swadesh Katoch, Sewa’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (APPI), is also rushing 200 oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals with the help of non-profit SEWA International.

READ: US pledges steadfast, ongoing support for Covid hit India (April 27, 2021)

The largest ethnic medical organization in the US also plans to offer tele-Consult services in India in local languages and organize webinars to educate AAPI members and their counterparts in India on zoom.

AAPI has also identified three telehealth platforms that would offer free service to physicians from India/US and patients:

  1.; 2.; and, 3. Apps are available on iOS and Android.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect, who is leading the AAPI Initiative to help India said groups of physicians will form smaller groups with Indian physicians in their own state/region, and do it yourselves (DIY) in their own language for Tele-Consult.

The Google sheet prepared by AAPI has a list of volunteers that would be updated regularly.

In addition, with the purpose of educating AAPI members and their counterparts in India,  AAPI is organizing educational webinars with small groups of doctors on zoom.

AAPI is offering MD-To-MD zoom chats and discussions about one’s patients, disease, course of medicines, and progress daily 7-8 am IST/9:30-10:30 am EST.

Two leading Indian born CEOs, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, have pledged to rush critical aid to the land of their birth.

“I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I’m grateful the US government is mobilizing to help.” Nadella tweeted last week.

In a Twitter post, Pichai said that he was “devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis,” and announced 1.35 billion rupees ($18 million) in aid from Google and its employees.

Give India, an online donation platform, will receive a grant for families hit by the crisis. The company is also contributing $15 million in free advertising for public health information campaigns.

Indian American technology guru and entrepreneur, Vinod Khosla, has also pledged $10 million towards providing oxygen supplies to India.

“The Khosla Family is adding $10 million to @GiveIndia to it’s previous commitment as a match and hoping others will join in this urgent need,” he tweeted Sunday night.

“There is large and very urgent needs and a day’s delay costs lives. One day at one hospital without oxygen had eight people die gasping for breadth.”


Indian Americans concerned about travel to Covid hit India (April 26, 2021)

Covid tsunami hits India with record 332,000 daily cases (April 23, 2021)

Don’t let the ‘America First’ derail India-U.S. ties (April 24, 202)

US may curb Air India evacuation flights from July 22 (June 23, 2020)

Air India announces more US-India flights from June 11 (June 8, 2020)

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