Want to do your part to contribute to India’s Covid-19 relief efforts? Here are some ways you can give back and donate
Bed shortages, lack of oxygen supplies and rapid testing kits, overcrowded hospitals, and overflowing crematoriums and graveyards are just some of the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 infections that are currently plaguing India. According to Unicef, the second wave of Covid-19 in India is “almost four times the size of the first wave”, and hospitals and healthcare centres are struggling to cope. India is reporting a high number of new cases – these continue to stay above 300,000 daily and are among the world’s highest at the moment – and the country’s top health experts are speculating that the numbers could, in fact, be higher than the official figures being released to international media.
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As someone with family and friends still living in India, the stories that filter out through my daily WhatsApp conversations and Zoom calls are heartbreaking. Some contracted the virus but have since recovered, some went to the hospital and never came back, some sadly passed away at home without aid or access to proper healthcare. Others continue to be kept apart from their spouses, parents and children, indefinitely isolated by closed borders, lengthy, expensive (and sometimes unclear) quarantine requirements, as well as fears of being asymptomatic carriers.
On social media, everyone from Bollywood’s biggest names to the common man on the street pleads for medicine, urgent oxygen supplies, available hospital beds and donations for the poorer communities whose livelihoods have been decimated by the pandemic. Others circulate the names and numbers of organisations that are offering aid in the hardest-hit areas.
“At the heart of it all, what’s reassuring to witness is the relentless comradeship the average citizen has shown, stepping up as a community, to help those in dire need. However, we’re slowly exhausting our available resources, which is why we need the goodwill of other nations to give what they can, and help us breathe, survive, and live,” shares Anvita Gupta, a 33-year-old Indian citizen and Singapore PR who currently lives in Delhi NC.
There’s a feeling of helplessness that wasn’t entirely present during the first wave of Covid-19 around the world, and it has ravaged the little hope we regained as the numbers dropped earlier in the year after vaccinations and social distancing measures were rolled out. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still lend a hand and offer to help.
How you can help India’s Covid-19 relief efforts
Many charitable organisations, private businesses and non-governmental organisations are raising funds to donate medical supplies, oxygen tanks and other vital necessities. Not sure where to look? We’ve compiled a list of reliable fundraising measures – both in Singapore and in India – that you can donate to.
Singapore Red Cross
There are four platforms you can visit to make a donation: Giving.sg, GIVE.ASIA, DonorBox, Benevity. Each of these fundraisers by the Singapore Red Cross will be used to obtain medical equipment and supplies, oxygen cylinders and concentrators. Alternatively, donate directly via PayNow, cheque, Internet banking or by scanning the QR code on the main Singapore Red Cross page. You can also sign up to fundraise on behalf of the Singapore Red Cross.
SICCI & Lisha fund
A joint effort by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Little India Shopkeepers Association (Lisha), the proceeds from this fundraising initiative will to the Singapore Red Cross. Members of the public can call SICCI Cares at 9654 1346 or 6222 2855 or email indiacovidfund @ sicci.com to find out how to contribute.
Purchase a silver spice kit ($50 plus free shipping) or make a direct donation, which goes to the Annamrita Foundation, Indian Spicebox’s charity partner in India. The foundation will use 100% of the funds raised to provide hot meals and grocery kits to daily workers, slum dwellers and unprivileged families.
Dharma Bharati India
The funds raised will be used to provide food supplies and groceries to families who have lost their source of income due to Covid-19. It costs a mere $18 (Rs 1000) a day to feed one family, and you can choose to support as many families as you can.
Choose between two Covid-19 fundraisers: Donate to support families in need of food, soap and handwashing supplies, or make a donation towards Hemkunt Foundation’s mission to provide oxygen to Covid-19 patients for free.
This organisation focuses on neglected communities and uses various ways to engage with those that are most affected in the rural areas. For example, Goonj buys produce directly from farmers and repackages these items into grocery kits for hungry families, and even sets up face mask factories in rural villages to ensure jobs for those in need.
There are multiple Covid-related causes you can donate to, ranging from fundraising initiatives to boost oxygen supply and financial support for families to support for healthcare workers and even to provide the needy with basic hygiene supplies. The causes are verified, and you donate to as many causes as you’d like.
This international NGO is a presence in most disaster-hit areas in India. Currently, the organisation is partnering with various local, regional and international charities, corporations and other NGOs in order to provide oxygen concentrators, ventilators, tanks and a range of necessary medical equipment to hospitals that are in most need.
MCKS Food for the Hungry Foundation
The pandemic hasn’t just robbed millions of their lives. It has also taken away jobs and income from as many as 450 million underprivileged households. MCKS provides hot meals for those who have none, and the team has served more than 800,000 meals to date.
“Donations can help us procure more life-saving resources, and any amount, big or small, will benefit us immensely. The added energy of positive thoughts and prayers would encourage our resolve further. Fellowship and mindfulness across nations are what will get us all out of this unprecedented chaos stronger,” says Anvita.
If you’ve already donated, then know that those of us who can’t do more to help our friends and family are grateful for your thoughts, prayers and help. We also ask that you spread the word and continue to mask up and adhere to social distancing measures so we can all stay safe together.