By now, I’m sure we all have some idea of what’s going on in India right now. But how did this massive spike start? Back in February, the people of India were just beginning to enjoy lifted restrictions, going out to travel and socialize after their lockdown. At this time, India’s cases were stable, and people were optimistic that India’s work vaccine manufacturing would benefit them. However, the optimism faded quickly as India exported the vast majority of its doses to other countries, leaving a minimal fraction of the population fully vaccinated. On top of this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held elections right as India’s cases were on the rise, inciting rallies of thousands of mask-less citizens. Religious celebrations also commenced, with millions of Indian civilians taking to the streets in celebration. India has now become the epicenter of the pandemic, reporting roughly 4,000 deaths daily (keep in mind that a scary amount of deaths go unreported). Hospitals and crematories are overflowing, leaving people with very few options to get help. The situation is an extreme emergency, and other countries have rushed to India’s aid. While posting about the situation on social media is a great start to spreading awareness, there are ways to contribute directly to organizations combating this COVID crisis. Here are some amazing organizations to donate to! Check these out:
- Americares (https://www.americares.org/crisis-alerts/covid-19-crisis-in-india/)
This organization is distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to India’s frontline workers, including full-body protective suits, gloves and masks. They are also providing hospitals with ventilators, and other machinery. They even have a community education program in order to educate rural communities about receiving the vaccine and general COVID safety measures.
- Mercy Corps (https://www.mercycorps.org/)
This unique organization is currently sending teams of healthcare workers out to Nepal to distribute hygiene kits and work to increase access to clean water sources to prevent infections. Along with this work, the Mercy Corps work to educate India’s residents on proper precautions as well as debunking rumors about how the virus spreads.
- Global Giving Relief Fund (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/india-covid-19-relief-fund/)
This relief fund serves both frontline workers and struggling families. They send medical personnel to afflicted areas and ship resources to susceptible families that are currently in lockdown. Another thing I love about this organization is that they provide mental health resources for the frontline workers who sacrifice so much to help.
- Save the Children (https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=5070&5070.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T)
By making a donation to this organization, you can pay for vulnerable family’s food. This organization focuses on serving India’s children, providing them with extra oxygen, hand sanitizer, food sources, and emotional support.
- International Medical Corps (https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/updates/we-are-responding-to-the-surge-of-covid-19-in-india/)
This organization is setting up treatment centers in case-heavy areas, providing communities with ventilators, PPE for healthcare workers, and support for families in lockdown. To prevent future surges, they are also educating communities about the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines and preparing communities for a time when they will be able to receive them.
We cannot ignore the role the United States has played in this global conflict by hoarding vaccines. While some of our citizens are refusing to take the vaccine, thousands of people in India are dying because of a lack of doses. We must understand our privilege in being able to vaccinate a large fraction of our population; therefore, if you are able, I urge you to take the vaccine. Think of those who are quite literally dying without it. These five organizations are just a few of dozens of non-profits and charities who are launching programs to help the Indian people. Please take the time to research ways to get involved, every contribution seriously makes a difference. And remember: continue to adhere to CDC guidelines and be safe!