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What can we do to help India’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis?

by Aiden

Donations, relief measures, moral support, and more. 

By Natasha Sethi 

With India’s new wave now widely known as the worst COVID-19 surge yet, it’s beyond heartbreaking for the rest of the world to watch this crisis unfold. India is struggling not just because of the deadly virus, but also because of the ramifications of the pandemic, including hunger and lack of resources. Although we’re not physically in India, there are still numerous ways in which we can be of help, and Masala has compiled a list below.

DONATE FUNDS TO RELIABLE ORGANISATIONS, AND KEEP THEM INFORMED

Here are some reliable, community-based organisations that you can donate to, for causes including boosting oxygen supply, battling hunger, and funding ambulance services. Make sure to share these organisations with your network to help boost awareness.

1. Hemkunt Foundation 
Hospitals in India are facing an almost insurmountable oxygen shortage due to the overwhelming number of patients. The Hemkunt Foundation is an NGO that has recognised the need of the hour with their latest project, Oxygen Cylinder Relief, which consists of an ‘Oxygen Van’ that drives around Delhi and Gurgaon, distributing oxygen cylinders to the most critical COVID-19 patients, free of cost. 

Ways you can help 

  • Donate funds here to support the #O2ForYou initiative 
  • Reach out to the foundation if you know someone that is in need of oxygen in Delhi or Gurgaon. 

2. Khaana Chahiye Foundation
The Khaana Chahiye Foundation provides immediate relief for people in Mumbai that are battling the ongoing hunger issues caused by the pandemic. They ensure that migrant workers, the homeless, daily wage labourers, and other vulnerable populations have access to food. They also provide food to institutions including hospitals, old-age homes, orphanages, prisons, etc. 

Ways you can help

  • Donate to their cause here
  • If you know someone in need of food in Mumbai, inform the foundation here

3. GiveIndia 
GiveIndia helps facilitate the adequate supply of oxygen in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Patna by setting up oxygen generation plants, providing oxygen concentrators, and providing and refilling oxygen cylinders. They also provide life-saving equipment by providing non-invasive ventilation and ventilators. 

Ways you can help

  • Donate here
  • Start a COVID fundraiser here and encourage your friends and family to donate to the cause

4. HelpNow 
An initiative established by IIT Bombay students and alumni, HelpNow is an ambulance service used to transport critical patients to hospitals when regular ambulances aren’t available. They provide sanitised ambulances with ventilators across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore, all free of cost. 

Ways you can help 

  • Donate here 
  • Call HelpNow if you know someone in need of an ambulance in one of the cities mentioned above (+91 88222 88222) 

5. The Indian Association of Thailand (IAT)
Closer to home, the IAT plans to donate as many oxygen cylinders as possible to India to help alleviate its oxygen crisis, all through official channels. Each oxygen cylinder costs THB 4,000, and they are encouraging the community here to donate any amount they can. Official receipts will be provided.

How to donate

  • Send any amount to Thanachart Bank Account number 6803000564 
  • Send Khun Nikorn (084-088-0887) the transfer slip to receive your receipt, or call him for more details

6. Goonj
India’s migrant workers are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, due to their low income and informal employment in factories and construction sites outside their hometown, which has left them stranded, hungry, and with no way home. Goonj helps by providing food and supplying the workers with masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

Ways you can help

  • Donate to Goonj here to help provide food and PPE
  • Direct your contacts in India to this platform if they wish to donate non-perishable food 

DONATE TO SPECIFIC FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS IN NEED 

A group of volunteers has compiled a comprehensive list of specific families in need, individuals in urgent need of support for COVID-19 treatments, funds specifically targeted at reducing the burden on minority communities, mental health support for those affected, and more. 

Find the full list here, and make sure that the fundraisers you’re donating to will accept foreign donations.

MORAL SUPPORT AND KEEPING YOUR LOVED ONES INFORMED 

One thing you can definitely do from here is simply being there for your loved ones by staying in contact, providing moral support, and showing solidarity. You can also inform your friends and family in India of the services available as they may very likely come in use. 

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