Indian-American NGO Sewa International USA is sending an initial shipment of 400 oxygen concentrators and other emergency supplies to India as the country battles an overwhelming second wave of COVID-19, the organisation said in a statement on Tuesday, 27 April.
The concentrators are expected to reach India by Friday, 30 April, said Rakhi Israni, the spokesperson of Sewa.
Through a campaign titled ‘Help India defeat COVID-19’, the organisation pledged to provide food and medical supplies to 10,000 families and more than 1000 orphanages and senior citizen care homes, by raising USD $5 million from donors.
“We are working closely with many organisations in the US to raise funds for this effort. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has partnered with Sewa to fund 200 oxygen concentrators,” said Arun Kankaki, president of Sewa International.
“Hundreds of volunteers from Sewa and our partnering organisations are working on the ground in India. Right now, our top priority is to quickly acquire oxygen concentrators and ship them to India as it can save lives. We are also helping a few hospitals to extend their capacity to treat more COVID-19 patients,” he added.
The organisation also has volunteers in India preparing essential supplies kits for low income families. Each kit contains groceries, basic medicines, masks, sanitizers and hygiene supplies.
“We are in the process of arranging another 2000 oxygen concentrators and plan to ship them by a special cargo plane to India,” said Israni, adding that the money for these additional units has already been wired.