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Indian-American group sending 400 oxygen concentrators, raising $5 million for India COVID crisis

Houston: In the wake of the latest COVID-19 surge that has left India grappling for medical oxygen and other essentials to save lives, Indian-Americans are gearing up to help the country overcome the pandemic.

Indian-American non-profit organisation Sewa International USA, is aiming to raise five million dollars — has already raised over 1.5 million dollars — in response to the deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India within less than two days.

It is sending an initial shipment of 400 oxygen concentrators along with other emergency medical devices and supplies to India immediately, the organisation said.

Sewa is working on procuring more from multiple suppliers around the world to ease oxygen shortage caused by the surging numbers of COVID-19 cases in India.The organisation said it has started the “Help India Defeat COVID-19′ campaign to ship oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals.

Sewa is also providing food and medicines to about 10,000 families and more than 1,000 orphanages, and senior citizen centers across the country, it said.

Gitesh Desai, Sewa’s spokesperson in Houston, told PTI, “Sewa International is humbled by outpouring of donations and support from Indian-American community across the United States.

Sewa raised more than USD 1.5 million indicating Indian-Americans feel the pain and suffering of their brothers and sisters in India, and are concerned for their well-being during the catastrophic crisis created by COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Sewa is getting a great response from thousands of donors and expressing a deep desire to help India overcome this crisis.We thank them for their generous and timely contribution,” said Arun Kankani, president of Sewa International.

Swadesh Katoch, Sewa’s vice president for Disaster Recovery, said, “Sewa volunteers are working on building a Digital Helpdesk to provide critical information on ambulance services, hospital bed availability, and blood and medicinal supplies to people.We need not despair as India has many resources, but we can still help people win their fight against COVID-19.

I request all to stay positive and do the needful.” Leading professional associations including AAPI, IITAGH (IIT Alumni of Greater Houston), Pan IIT and other community organisations have partnered with Sewa International in this endeavor, the organisation said.