Indiaspora, a nonprofit community of global Indian diaspora leaders, announced they raised $1 million toward COVID-19 relief efforts within the last 48 hours, and will aim to double the impact of their donations by offering to match funds May 1 during the virtual event, "Help India Breathe,” reports ANI.

"We are proud of our community's response. The outpouring of support from the Indian diaspora has been immediate and overwhelming," said Sanjeev Joshipura, executive director of Indiaspora. "We hope Saturday's event will continue to raise awareness and provide another opportunity for all of us to give. This has the potential to serve as a launch pad for additional and much-needed help for relief efforts in India."

On May 3, Indiaspora launched its 'ChaloGive for India' Covid relief initiative.

The $1 million will address three major areas of COVID-19 relief on the ground: the creation of urgently needed COVID care centers and makeshift hospitals through the nonprofit WISH Foundation, direct cash transfer to families who have lost a primary earning member through the nonprofit giving platform GiveIndia, and food relief and livelihood assistance for migrant workers and other underserved populations through nonprofits Goonj and Jan Sahas.

"I am heartbroken by the deepening COVID crisis in India. Urgent action is needed to help those suffering," said Indiaspora Founders Circle member Reshma Kewalramani, Indian American chief executive officer and president at Vertex, a global biotechnology company, who contributed toward the campaign. "Please join me in giving as generously as you can to support India in her time of need."

Indiaspora will use the money raised from its members to match donations during the virtual event, "Help India Breathe," which will take place from 1-3 p.m. PT/ 4-6 p.m. ET and will bring together several powerful voices from the Indian American and AAPI community, including Lilly Singh, Deepak Chopra, Dhar Mann, Payal Kadakia, Kunal Nayyar, Humble the Poet, Jay Sean, Radhanath Swami, Janina Gavankar, Vishen Lakhiani, Deepica Mutyala, and others.

Funds raised during the event will go toward GiveIndia, which launched the India COVID Response Fund-1 in April 2020. With the second deadly wave currently hitting India, the organization launched ICRF-2 to support gaps in healthcare and other critical needs.

In related news, ANI adds from Washington: Expressing gratitude to President Joe Biden for providing COVID-19 assistance to India, the U.S. Congressional India Caucus leadership has requested him for additional resources and healthcare supplies to save lives in India amid the unprecedented rise in number of infections.

"In addition to oxygen and related systems, India also needs several other items including: Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Ventilators/BiPAP. We sincerely appreciate your effort to provide India in the coming days with the additional supplies listed above and to work to supply other items that India might need as the second wave continues to surge, such as additional PPE and tests," the letter said.

The India Caucus leaders said that it is in the U.S. interest, for everyone in India to be vaccinated. "To the extent it is possible, we hope that you will work to provide India with vaccines. With this in mind, we welcome recently announced plans to make available sources of raw materials to help India manufacture more vaccines."

They urged Biden to share with India surplus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as possible.

The letter has been signed by India Caucus co-chairs Congressmen Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, in addition to its co-Vice Chairs Congressman Michael Waltz and Ro Khanna. (Earlier, Sens. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus, wrote a letter to President Biden April 27 asking him to ramp up aid to India amid the country’s deepening COVID crisis. See India-West story here: https://bit.ly/3u7kjyk)

On April 30, meanwhile, the U.S. delivered its first shipment of medical supplies to India including 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators (200 Size D, 223 Size H), 210 pulse oximeters, 184,000 Abbott Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits, and 84000 N-95 face masks.

In the second shipment on the same day, the U.S. delivered 17 H-size (large) oxygen cylinders and 7,00,000 Abbott Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits to help the country fight the coronavirus pandemic.

"#JustArrived from @USAID to India: the second shipment of life-saving medical supplies to save lives and stop the spread of #COVID19! The American people are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of India as we continue to fight the pandemic together. #USIndiaDosti," USAID India wrote in a tweet. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also informed that another US military aircraft loaded with vital medical supplies arrived here bringing more oxygen cylinders and 7 lakh rapid testing kits.

India reported 3,86,452 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours and this is the highest single-day spike in the cases since the pandemic began last year.

In other news, Boeing announced April 30 a $10 million emergency assistance package for India to support its battle against COVID-19.

A company release stated that the assistance from Boeing will be directed to organizations providing relief, including medical supplies and emergency healthcare for communities and families battling COVID-19.

Boeing will partner with local and international relief organizations to deploy the funds to the areas of greatest need in consultation with medical, government and public health experts, the release said.

The UAE-based Aster DM Healthcare has, meanwhile, signed a partnership to set up a 50-bed Covid-19 field hospital in New Delhi.

(With ANI reports)

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