How to help India amid the COVID crisis
By Mike Ives
India’s coronavirus crisis is the worst since the pandemic began, and it will probably worsen before it gets better.
Hospitals are full, oxygen supplies are dwindling, and sick people are dying as they wait to see doctors. As workers leave locked-down cities for their home villages, experts fear that the exodus could accelerate the spread of the virus in rural areas, as a similar one did last year.
Official estimates of the nationwide infection toll — well above 300,000 a day — are probably undercounted, epidemiologists say. The reported figure will mostly likely rise to 500,000 cases a day by August, they say, leaving as many as 1 million of India’s 1.4 billion people dead from COVID-19.
Charities, volunteers and businesses in India and beyond are trying to help the country’s COVID victims and frontline workers.
(Before giving money to an organization, make sure you feel comfortable with it. In the United States, sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator grade nonprofits on their effectiveness and financial health.)
Here are a few ways to help.
United Nations agencies, including UNICEF and the World Health Organization, are delivering personal protective equipment kits, oxygen concentrators, diagnostic testing systems and other supplies to India’s frontline health care workers.
PATH, a global health nonprofit based in Seattle, says it has a team of more than 200 people working in India to procure oxygen supplies and accelerate COVID-19 testing and surveillance.
The International Medical Corps, which works in conflict areas around the world, is raising money for a campaign to help provide medical equipment, personal protective equipment, isolation facilities and other essential supplies in India.
Care India says it has supplied hospitals and frontline workers in India with more than 39,000 PPE kits, along with masks and other supplies. The nonprofit, which has worked in India for 70 years, accepts donations in any amount.
The Association for India’s Development, a Maryland-based charity that partners with nonprofits in India, says it has volunteers distributing food and protective equipment in most of India’s 29 states.
Project HOPE, also in Maryland, is a nonprofit providing medical training, health education and humanitarian assistance around the world. The group says it has given COVID-related assistance in 150 countries during the pandemic, including India.
GIVE.asia, a fundraising platform in Singapore for causes across the Asia Pacific region, says it is working with the Singapore Red Cross to send ventilators, oxygen concentrators and oxygen generators to India. The platform also hosts fundraising campaigns by individuals.
AmeriCares, a nongovernmental organization based in Connecticut that specializes in emergency medical response work, says it is working in several Indian states to deliver PPE, ventilators and other medical equipment, as well as to educate people on how to prevent the spread of the virus.
Groups in India
The Indian Red Cross Society has staff and volunteers running blood drives, delivering aid and medical supplies, along with providing other essential services across the country.
Youth Feed India and Helping Hands Charitable Trust are delivering ration kits to vulnerable residents of Mumbai. Each kit includes staples like rice and dal, and feeds a family of four for 15 days.
Ketto, a fundraising platform in Mumbai, a hot spot of the country’s latest COVID outbreak, is shepherding a campaign by hundreds of entrepreneurs to purchase 3,000 oxygen concentrators. (The organizers are tweeting live updates.)
FromU2Them, a Mumbai nonprofit, is raising money on Ketto from individuals and Indian businesses to pay for food and medical supplies in the sprawling financial hub.