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Bengaluru Students Raise Over Rs 40 Lakh for COVID Relief

S.P.A.R.K is a youth-driven organisation that has provided healthcare and food related aid across Bengaluru.

Updated
Good News
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The youth-run organisation has provided food and medical aid across Bengaluru.</p></div>
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S.P.A.R.K, a student-run organization in Bengaluru, has raised over Rs 40 lakh for various initiatives throughout the pandemic.

The organisation worked with the government task force, provided medical equipment like oxygen concentrators, oximeters, beds, sanitisers, and other protective equipment, in various PHCs and district hospitals across the state.

Their coronavirus relief project, called 'Project Q', started in March 2020 prior to the nationwide lockdown last year. Fearing the condition of their partner orphanages and the children affiliated to those organisations, they started helping them with immediate healthcare and food-related needs. However, they only realised the full extent and severity of the lockdown after a few days into it. Fortunately, their pre-existing basic framework helped them; they were able to quickly expand their operations to provide aid to more people.

S.P.A.R.K provided food at Kalpa Raksha Orphanage.
S.P.A.R.K provided food at Kalpa Raksha Orphanage.
(Photo Courtesy: S.P.A.R.K)

The youth at S.P.A.R.K acted on every opportunity they had from then on. Their efforts to help stranded migrant labourers in the state were recognised by Suresh Kumar, Karnataka's Cabinet Minister incharge of COVID-19 information. With some help from the state government, S.P.A.R.K used government databases to cross-reference their ground data and identify families that needed aid.

In their solo venture, they distributed 25 meals to people in need before partnering with other NGOs to widen their reach. In parts of Rajajinagar, Indiranagar and Domlur, they worked with Uthishta Collaboration to distribute 575 ration kits and 2,000 kilograms of rice.

With BSHIP Collaboration, S.P.A.R.K provided around 5,600 meals in VV Puram and distributed another 2,000 kilograms of rice with the NGO Robin Hood Army, and handed out 6,000 masks to children at orphanages in the city.

As the severity of the second wave increased, they scaled up their COVID relief work once again. Under Project Q, programmes involving their partner orphanages continued and their contingency plan in case of more lockdowns came into play. They reached out to COVID-specific PHCs and hospitals across the state and examined their needs and found that aid required amounted to over 65 lakhs.

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The organisation restarted 'Impactmakers', their youth-exclusive fundraising movement and raised over Rs 20 lakh over the course of a few weeks. With these funds, they were able to provide oxygen concentrators and oximeters to centres that needed them, while distributing more ration kits to the needy.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Oxygen concentrators at Banashankari PHC.&nbsp;</p></div>

Oxygen concentrators at Banashankari PHC. 

(Photo: S.P.A.R.K)

S.P.A.R.K is deploying PPE kits, N95 masks, sanitisers and oximeters to frontline workers and their patients across health centres across rural and urban Bengaluru, Mysore, Bellary and other locations in the state. They are also expanding their operations to include remote access areas in Maharashtra and Assam, while preparing relief packages for people in West Bengal and Bihar's cyclone affected regions.

The group is being run by Akarsh Shroff, Aakarshan Majumdar, Sejal Agarwal, Indraneel Acharya, Praajna G. Baragur, Tanisha Anand Raaj, Archith Casheekar, and Anumita Parvatikar.

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