The world’s largest democracy is struggling to breathe. A harrowing second wave of coronavirus cases has swept through India, compounded with a severe shortage in essential resources. Crematoriums are overwhelmed, with a death toll that surpassed 200,000 on 28 April. This figure comes just as India sets another global record for highest daily covid infections–with its health ministry confirming today that there are 386,452 new cases in the country. And these are only the reported ones. It is estimated that the actual toll is much higher, indicating a terrifying undercounting of numbers. India officially has the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak.
The impact of the pandemic has trickled down into social media, where Indians are pleading the public to aid them in the care of their families, friends, and even strangers. Instagram and Twitter feeds are a dire portrait of governmental failures, lack of global aid, and circumstances that could have been entirely avoidable had the country been more prepared. On any given day, users witness this atrocity unfolding. Across the nation, people are desperately seeking hospital beds, vaccines, and oxygen; healthcare workers are imploring the government for basic supplies. A woman in Bangalore asks for a hospital bed and oxygen for her friend’s mother, who is in critical condition. A man in Delhi seeks a ventilator for his brother-in-law: ‘please’, he writes repeatedly on Twitter.
All this is to say that India needs domestic and global attention, now more than ever, to combat the excruciating consequences of the pandemic on its people. The world is starting to listen, with thousands of support networks being established. Charities are accepting donations for various requirements, from PPE to the supply of oxygen to providing meals and medication for those who cannot access even these basic rights. Here’s how you can help.
This document, which is being frequently updated, includes forty pages of fundraising campaigns, with categories including support for daily wagers, individuals in need of aid, targeted relief for children, and targeted relief for queer communities. It is a vital resource, listing in detail how your donations are put into effect.
Crowdfunding organisation Milaap has dozens of ongoing fundraising for various resources, people and hospitals. Your donations can go towards procuring much-needed oxygen concentrators or helping to build a transgender community center in West Bengal. The latter project has been slowed due to the pandemic and supports a highly discriminated against community.
UNICEF, the International Medical Corps, and PATH are a few of the major organisations globally that are lending support to India at this time. Each is helping to procure or deliver oxygen concentrators, diagnostic testing systems, PPE kits and other essential medical equipment to hospitals across India.
Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, reportedly has one in two citizens testing positive for the coronavirus. One of their hospitals has reopened its Covid ward, but currently has only forty beds for patients. For $134 USD, you can provide an oxygen cylinder. Other initiatives include donating to the cost of ventilators, hand sanitisers, and surgical masks and gloves, amongst others.
This initiative, fuelled by Delhi-based entrepreneurs, is helping to raise funds for importing oxygen concentrators and distributing them to hospitals. The project is being supported by writers across the globe, who have concurrently launched ‘Artists for India’: by donating £100 or more to Mission Oxygen, writers such as Salman Rushdie, Jodi Picoult, and Kamila Shamsie will thank you with a signed copy of one of their works.
This India-based group works to improve the lives of children. Amidst the pandemic, they are working to supply food, hygiene kits, and oxygen concentrators to families with children who have been affected by the pandemic.
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