Indian-American non-profit Indiaspora raises USD 500K in COVID-19 relief effort

Indiaspora is partnering GOONJ's Rahat Covid-19 initiative to provide food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in parts of fourteen states of India. Photo courtesy: GOONJ
Indiaspora is partnering GOONJ's Rahat Covid-19 initiative to provide food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in parts of fourteen states of India. Photo courtesy: GOONJ

An Indian-American non-profit organisation has swung into action to unite the diaspora for an online campaign to raise money to fight hunger and help vulnerable sections of society during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Indiaspora has launched the ChaloGive for COVID-19 online campaign to help those affected by the coronavirus in the United States and India. Their campaign has already raised USD 500, 000 in contributions from Indiaspora’s leadership network. 

“We are facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19,” said Anand Rajaraman, an Indiaspora Founders Circle member. “The drastic measures necessary to control this pandemic have created special challenges for vulnerable sections of society across the world, particularly in India and the US. Indiaspora has the opportunity to unite the diaspora to quickly and decisively help in the midst of this crisis.”

Anand, a Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and his wife Kaushie Adiseshan are lead donors for the campaign which has garnered plenty of support from the Indian diaspora during this pandemic. 

In a press release, Indiaspora said that several community-based organisations are providing relief, with CEOs, entrepreneurs, professionals from different industries, and the entire community rallying to make contributions to various non-profits.

Indiaspora says that one of the most pressing challenges facing both the US and India right now is hunger - the deciding factor in its ChaloGive campaign.

“While all eyes are on frontline hospitals, millions in America and across the globe suffer silently from a growing and equally alarming epidemic of food insecurity as the COVID-19 crisis threatens to push already struggling families deeper into poverty,” said Sejal Hathi, an Indiaspora Board member and physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Now more than ever is the time for communities like Indiaspora’s to come together and rise to this call to feed people in need.”

There are over 37 million people facing food insecurity in the US as per Feeding America, while in India it is estimated that nearly 140 million migrant workers have been displaced and remain in need of food and other essentials.

“This crisis has made it even harder for those who were already struggling to survive,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures and a founder of IT services company Infosys, who is also an Indiaspora Founders Circle member. “Given the increasingly global world we are living in, India and its diaspora are in a unique and powerful position to help each other.”

The campaign will conduct on ground activities through beneficiary non-profits Feeding America in the US and Goonj in India. 

The campaign has also received support from many high-profile ambassadors such as former Pepsi Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, former US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Indian philanthropists Rohini and Nandan Nilekani and Bollywood actress Nandita Das.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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