Oxford Societies urge students to donate for the coronavirus crisis in India

Image description: the magnolia tree overlooking the Radcliffe Camera. 

Oxford India Society, the Oxford South Asian Society and the Oxford Hindu Society are urging students to donate to their fundraiser to support local charities in India where a second wave of Coronavirus is ripping through the country.

The fundraiser comes in response to over 300,000 new daily cases, the highest number anywhere in the world to this date. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described the disaster as a “storm” threatening to overwhelm the health care system.

International efforts are being organised to send relief and medical supplies to help tackle the need for oxygen concentrator devices and ventilators. Many people are unable to seek medical help as hospitals are overwhelmed. Images of patients sharing hospital beds and mass cremations have been widely shared on the internet.

The fundraiser is aiming to reach £10,000 in 10 days, which could fund either 100 oxygen cylinders, 1500 refills of oxygen cylinders or 10 new 5-litre O2 concentrators.

Organised by Sushrut Royyuru, the Go-fund-me has a joint statement from the three societies:

“The international community recognises the oxygen shortage and health crisis developing in India following the resurgence of COVID-19 cases as a human rights disaster. Individuals are suffering the full physical, economical and psychological detriment of the pandemic with insufficient medical resources to alleviate the issue. Official sources report record numbers of new cases, most recently confirming over 350,000 new cases in just one day taking the total number of infections over 17 million. There have been nearly 200,000 COVID-related deaths reported, a death toll that rivals disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Investigatory reports suggest that the true number of deaths could still be orders of magnitude greater than this harrowing official count.”

“At the conclusion of the fundraiser, we intend to donate the money to several NGOs in India that provide essential relief like oxygen, ventilators, food/water aid and home medication to acutely affected areas. We will continue to update and refine our shortlist over the course of the fundraiser as the situation in India continues to develop.”

“Hospital beds in Delhi, one of the most severely affected areas, can cost between £80 to £150  per day depending on the severity of a patients condition. This means our target would provide relief equivalent to 100 hospital bed-days.”

“We call upon all members of the Oxford community to provide aid and support both India and their fellow students during this difficult time.”

In a Facebook update, Anvee Bhutani, President of Oxford India Society, revealed that the fundraiser had reached over £3000 in its first 12 hours, and offered help in forming JCR motions to support it. Students have been interviewed by ITV about the effort.

You can donate to the Go-fund-me here 

Image Credit: Jonas Muschalski