£10,000 raised in 72 hours for Covid-19 relief in India, Oxbridge societies launch joint fundraiser

Image Description: The Bridge of Sighs taken from Catte Street.

On Wednesday, Oxford India Society, Oxford Hindu Society and Oxford South Asian Society launched a joint fundraiser with an initial target of raising £10,000 in 10 days. 3 days later, the total has reached just under £11,500.

The new goal of raising £50,000 in 10 days is being announced as the fundraiser has partnered with Cambridge University India Society, the Cambridge South Asia Forum, and the Cambridge University Bharatiya Society.

A joint statement from the Oxford Societies on the fundraiser reads:

We want to thank the community for the amazing support we have received over the last few days to reach our initial goal of £10,000 in such a short time. We would like to take this momentum forward and increase the scope of our fundraiser. Having met our initial goal, we are going to collaborate with the Cambridge University community, joining with the Cambridge University India Society, the Cambridge South Asia Forum and the Cambridge University Bharatiya Society to work towards our ambitious new goal of raising £50,000 for the cause.

“The first £10,000 that we raised will be committed to the following four NGOs which we have identified as high priority aid recipients:

  1. The Raah Foundation (Maharashtra)
  2. SEEDS (contributing towards their work in Uttar Pradesh).
  3. The Delhi Solidarity Group
  4. Mercy Mission (Bengaluru)

“As we raise more money, we will increase the number of NGOs we are donating to and seek to positively impact a wider cross section of the country and alleviate the crisis. Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their support thus far and continuing on.”

Anvee Bhutani, president of Oxford India Society, Suyesha Dutta, President of Oxford South Asia Society and Shreyas Rajesh, Religious Officer at the Oxford Hindu Society, featured on ITV news on Wednesday to promote the fundraiser and discuss the ongoing crisis in India.

Bhutani commented on the success of the initial fundraiser:

“It feels surreal to have raised the full amount so quickly and I am very excited about our collaboration. I think raising awareness around the issue is so important and I’m grateful that ITV gave us the chance to talk more about the problems that those on the ground in India are facing.”

Dutta said: “Being at the epicentre in New Delhi has provided me with a real-time view of the crisis as it unfolds. I’ve already interviewed with media houses like ITV, who are drawing serious global attention to India. Yet, one forgets to highlight how the Indian youth is at the helm of our COVID relief effort. As a relief volunteer myself, watching the Oxbridge youth parallelly come together at such a crucial stage is therefore remarkable.”

Aditya Dabral, President of the Oxford Hindu Society said:

“We’re delighted at the progress of the fundraiser. Our hope is that we keep the momentum going with this collaboration and that we continue to make a meaningful difference to the situation on the ground.”

Rajesh said: “I’m very grateful to have been featured speaking about this incredibly important topic on ITV news. My community back home is still struggling tremendously with the ongoing covid crisis, so I’m really glad to see people here taking an interest. It’s also rewarding to see how well the Oxford campaign for India has done in its initial stages.”

Current estimates place the cost of a 100-litre oxygen cylinder between £80 to £200. £50,000 could fund nearly 500 oxygen cylinders for hospitals that are struggling to cope with the numbers of people who are in need of urgent medical care.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

Image Credit: Chen Chen