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Current situation of COVID-19 in India

India is currently experiencing a devastating second wave of COVID-19. While official figures from mid-May show that 250,000 people have died, actual figures are estimated to be three to five times as high. Simply put, waking up to the news of family members and friends passing away has become the new normal in India.

The crisis that has engulfed cities like Delhi and Bombay is now spreading to villages and marginalised communities across India, who have almost no access to doctors and hospitals.  The difficulty of tracking the virus in these regions is being compounded by the administration’s effort to obscure the on-ground reality. Global media coverage of India’s struggle with COVID-19 is waning. However, these communities lived in a precarious state even before the pandemic began and are now suffering a humanitarian crisis in parallel with the medical emergency that has taken over the nation.

Who are we?

We have come together as a growing network of 35+ university students from all over the world to do something to help. While our network began as a connection between students in India and Japan, we are now connected with students in Singapore, the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and beyond as a global Student Network for India. Our members in India are contributing their lived experience as well as research capacity and skills to this initiative. Outside India, our members are contributing their personal and organisational networks to this fundraiser. Visit our website to learn more about our team, our advisors and partner, and more about the NGOs we are supporting.

We are grateful to be hosting this fundraiser in partnership with Asia Initiatives (AI), a registered NPO in the USA and Japan. AI has partnered with 20 local non-profit organisations across India and is doing exemplary work in providing critical relief services and livelihood opportunities since the COVID-19 pandemic started. AI was founded in Tokyo by Dr. Geeta Mehta, who is currently a professor at Columbia University.

How will this fundraiser help India?

Based on AI’s 20+ years of work experience in India and our India team members’ knowledge of their own communities, we have identified five NGOs from across India to which we will distribute the funds raised by this initiative. While all five of these NGOs are based in different parts of India, they share three features:
1) they work with under-served communities in non-mainstream regions of India
2) they have gained a stellar reputation for their work
3) they are currently in urgent need of support to provide their communities with COVID-relief.

On our website, we have built a detailed profile for each of these NGOs that documents the meticulous internal verification process followed by our team to select these organisations. Here, we will briefly introduce you to the NGOS we are supporting. If you would like to know more, please follow the hyperlinks below to view each organisation's detailed and bilingual (EN/JP) profile.
1. Grameen Mahila Vikas Sansthan (GMVS) works for women in rural areas of Rajasthan.
2. Impulse NGO network (INGON) reaches victims of human trafficking across eight states of North-Eastern India.
3. Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan addresses the needs of deprived sections of society such as Dalit and tribal communities, and girls and women in central India.
4. The Highrange Rural Development Society (HRDS) serves tribal communities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and other parts of India.
5. Samanta works alongside forest communities in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The total support we plan to provide to these 5 NGOs is ₹ 27,00,000 or $37,000. However, our goal for this fundraiser is ₹ 35,00,000 or $49,000 since we are actively searching for more NGOs that we can provide support to. If you're a NGO that wishes to get in touch or you know about an NGO that is providing COVID-relief to marginalised populations in the non-mainstream parts of India, please let us know.

If we add another NGO to our fundraiser, we will provide a campaign update and build a similar profile for them as we built for the other NGOs we are supporting.

Details about financial transparency 

Within two weeks of closing the fundraiser we will add updates to our campaign including proof that the money collected has reached each NGO. We will also share a project report with specific information and documentation of how each NGO utilised the funds received in their COVID-relief projects.

Call to action

Now is the time to take action and show our solidarity and support in a meaningful way. If you have heard about or experienced the COVID-19 crisis in India and felt helpless, this is an opportunity to make a difference. Every donation, large or small, will be used to fund COVID-relief projects for the most marginalised communities of India. Any amount that you donate will help save lives.

Donate. Spread the word. Stay safe, and stay healthy.

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Beneficiary: Aurobinda Pattanaik

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Current situation of COVID-19 in India India is currently experiencing a devastating second wave of COVID-19. While official figures from mid-May show that 250,000 people have died, actual figures are estimated to be three to five times as high.

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