How to Help India’s COVID Crisis

Photo by Rebecca Conway (Getty Images)

Photo by Rebecca Conway (Getty Images)

As everyone has probably already heard, India is currently in a state of emergency. COVID has been out of control and there are 1 million new cases every three days. The country also has new variants, including one that is 50% more transmissible than the UK strand. With tight living quarters, it is impossible to socially distance. Hospitals have been running out of oxygen for their COVID patients and over 310,000 lives have been lost to COVID. Bodies have been mass cremated in parking lots and open lots with funeral pyres working 24 hours a day and cremation grounds running out of space. The country’s holiest river, the Ganges, is flooded with the bodies of COVID victims floating and buried in sandbanks.

“It’s hard to imagine this is actually real and happening,” wrote one Dehli resident in an interview with New York Times. “The worst part: there’s almost nothing you can do to help anyone immediately. It takes hours of verifying, calling, begging for help to actually find some solutions, if that even happens. By that time, you feel almost too scared to call back and find out if help is still needed for fear of hearing the inevitable — that the person has died without getting adequate care.”

“Indians are dying not because of Covid but because they are not receiving treatment and care.” 

People around the world have been helping from afar. Even as an ADM student, you can help the crisis and the families that have lost countless loved ones. I have compiled a list of ways we can do our part –some not requiring monetary support– from in Iowa.

Helping Frontline Workers

United Nations Agencies: UNICEF and the World Health Organization are giving personal protective equipment (PPE), oxygen concentrators, diagnostic testing systems, and other supplies to India’s frontline workers.

The International Medical Corps: The IMC is an organization that works in many areas in need around the world. They are raising money to help provide PPE and isolation facilities.

Care India: Care India has supplied nearly 40,000 PPE kits and masks.

The Association for India’s Development: A Maryland-based charity that partners with nonprofits in India has volunteers distributing food and PPE to the country.

Project Hope: Another Maryland-based charity that provides medical training/health education and humanitarian assistance internationally. They’ve given COVID assistance to 150 countries, including India. A program in Singapore that works to help around the Asia Pacific Region (which includes India) is working with the Singapore Red Cross to send ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and oxygen generators.

Groups in India

Indian Red Cross Society: Staff and volunteers run blood drives and deliver medical aid/medical supplies.

My Favorite Organizations/Top Choices

OxygenForIndia: An organization that delivers medical oxygen for free to patients in seven Indian cities. The group was founded by an economist and epidemiologist who is the director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, a research organization based in both New Dehli and Washington.

Personal GoFundMe’s: GoFundMe has verified over 3 dozen campaigns and counting that sends funds to India, including ones that support individual families.

Addendum: Oxfam India, a nonprofit organization in India, has been advocating for a vaccine that is patent-free and mass produced for the people (so that it is distributed fairly) and more Indians can be vaccinated.

Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust: Delivering ration kits to vulnerable residents in Mumbai. Every kit has important food like rice and dal and provides food for a family for over two weeks.