As of July 16, 2021, India has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with figures reaching over 31 million. Earlier in April, it was said to be experiencing the world’s worst second wave, with hospitals lacking in oxygen supplies forced to turn away COVID-19 patients. Al Jazeera has reported that the country’s death toll has surpassed 400,000 as of Jul 2, with half of these deaths happening in the second wave. World aid is gradually arriving in the country but, understandably, people still want to know how they can help the India COVID crisis.
The harrowing scenes unfolding across India have prompted a response from governments around the world but, as BBC News points out, India is a country of 1.3 billion people, meaning the impact of overseas support will be limited.
From health service workers to community leaders to ordinary citizens, people across India are rallying to help those in need. But they are struggling. If you want to offer help from the UK, below are some organisations to be aware of.
The Hemkunt Foundation
The Hemkunt Foundation is working to deliver Oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients for free. They’ve asked for donations to help them reach more people across the country. The organisation tweeted last night: “We are still distributing truckloads of Oxygen Cylinders in Gurgaon and will continue to do so throughout the night to critical #covid_19 patients. Your small donation can help us reach out to more people.”
Khaana Chahiye is battling hunger as well as the virus and also needs donations. The foundation has been catering to “lockdown-induced food demands of the homeless, migrant workers, daily wage labourers, and other vulnerable populations in the city of Mumbai” since March 2020. It says it is currently “delivering 12,000+ meals daily across Mumbai” and with donations, they can increase the number of people they feed.
Goonj Rahat supports migrant workers and neglected communities who have lost their jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic, especially during the deadly second wave. “With the country bearing witness to the second wave of COVID and one of the most serious health crises of all times, the situation on-ground has been grimmer as compared to last year,” they write on the website.
HelpNow provides sanitised ambulances with ventilators across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Bengaluru. The initiative is set up by students to help the countries overwhelmed health services. At the time of writing (July 16), they have raised almost 2.45 million rupees (which is just over £237,000) and are still seeking donations.
UK-based humanitarian aid organisation Khalsa Aid says it has a team “on the ground providing support to those affected.” The organisation is appealing for Oxygen Concentrators (OC) to be sent to India and has recently received a large donation from the British public.
Give India is appealing for donations for its various COVID missions, including raising money towards oxygen supplies, donating food to vulnerable families and providing hygiene supplies for people who have no access to sanitary towels.
Charity Care India is working to provide PPE kits and critical medical equipment to hospitals as well as setting up temporary COVID hospitals and COVID Care Centres.
Primarily based in Nagpur, Seva Kitchen is working to feed domestic helpers, daily wage labourers, construction workers and people from the slums who have lost their income.
People For Change
This organisation is collecting money to provide food ration kits and cover the rental and medical costs of the transgender and sex worker community in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. The community faces heightened risks of COVID-19 due to high HIV rates and social ostracisation.
Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust
Based in Mumbai, Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust are working together with grassroots organisations to provide food ration packs to frontline workers, as well as provide urgent food relief for marginalised communities and vulnerable members of society.
OxygenForIndia is accepting donations to help fund the delivery of free medical oxygen to patients in Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
Help India Breathe
Help India Breathe is a UK-based organisation seeking to raise funds to go towards the sourcing and deployment of medical supplies and equipment to India, as well as managing future waves of coronavirus.
Other organisations in need of help
On Instagram, illustrator @Sonaksha has linked to a helpful and comprehensive Mutual Aid India document, featuring campaigns that need support as well as links to individuals in financial distress due to losing a loved one during the second wave. You can access the document here to find out where else needs donations and support.
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