Three Indian Americans have teamed up to offer relief for Indians struggling in the South Asian country during its recent surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The couple, Rohit Mediratta and Kanika Mediratta, along with Monica Khosla, created COVIDreliefIndia.com and partnered with the SaveLIFE Foundation to collect donations to help aid the effort in stopping the recent wave overtaking India.
The group, as well as Mukesh Aggarwal, launched a GoFundMe page April 22 seeking to raise $750,000 to “help pay for Oxygen Concentrators (10L), oxygen cylinders, oxygen generation plant, breathing apparatus and any other medical equipment needed by the Govt of Delhi – whichever has the earliest availability.”
All the donations are being managed by the nonprofit Save LIFE Foundation, according to the GoFundMe page.
According to the GoFundMe page, “three people are dying in India every minute, and this number is likely underreported. Over 15 million people in India are infected right now. Even children who are suffering with severe symptoms and dying along with the adults.”
“More than 3,000 families bid goodbye to a loved one, just in one day. More than 200,000 people have already died. A quick look around and you’ll see grieving families everywhere wearing hazmat clothing as they perform last rites amidst funeral and cremation fires,” the page continued.
“Hospitals have run out of basic medical supplies, with many patients dying from oxygen shortages,” it said.
In just over two weeks, the campaign has raised nearly $534,000 from more than 4,700 donors, according to tabulations at time of press.
As of May 8, 200 units have been delivered to the Burari/Rakabganj hospitals in Delhi. Another 574 Oxygen Concentrators have been ordered, including some with funds not obtained through the GoFundMe campaign.
The page notes that the money donated will purchase an Oxygen Concentrator for 5L at a minimum cost of $519 per unit and a for 10L at a minimum cost of $921 per unit.
Each concentrator is used by a needy patient for one to two weeks. Given the sheer number of cases, the requirements are in excess of 50,000 concentrators across India, it said.
Rohit is a senior director of engineering at Nokia Inc. and has previously worked at Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent.
Kanika currently works for First Republic Bank where she heads the digital payments team.
Khosla is an entrepreneur helping public libraries in the U.S. expand their Indian books collection to keep the grandparents engaged and to share India and its culture with kids. When she is not working with libraries, she enjoys UX design and gardening.
More information about the COVID Relief India initiative can be found by visiting www.covidreliefIndia.com.