Coronavirus in India, how can I help? Vetted resources for Covid relief
words by Save Your Wardrobe
May 5, 2021
As India battles its second wave of coronavirus, the country faces huge shortages of beds and oxygen. Hospitals and crematoriums have run out of space with some funerals taking place in car parks. This is not just commonplace in cities, but also smaller towns and villages where cases and deaths are severely under-reported due to limited testing capability and medical aid. Not only the elderly are losing lives. Many youth contracting the virus are in need of temporary oxygen or medication that is inaccessible due to nationwide shortages.
In a country with widespread poverty and lack of education, the virus poses a greater threat to marginalised communities who are unable to stay at home (due to urgent need for wages), social distance (due to living conditions), or have appropriate protective equipment (masks, soaps, disinfectant).
You may have seen various urgent appeals for donation to support the relief effort in India. However, it is noteworthy to mention that many funds and NGOs circulating social media in particular, are not verified or transparent with where the funding goes. As responsible citizens, we should all document ourselves on the organisations we donate to, to ensure the funds are being received by vetted organisations who will use them responsibly. To help you with this, we have curated a list of a few trusted and transparent organisations that are using the funds you donate to help the country during Covid-19 either for medical aid, food distribution, mental health support or women-focused efforts.
Here are some organisations you can donate to:
Urgent Medical Resources
Hemkunt Foundation (@hemkunt_foundation)
Hemkunt Foundation is a non-governmental organisation that aims to provide humanitarian aid to marginalized sections of society. The organisation is based upon the most popular Sikh principle of ‘Sarbat Da Bhalla’ which means welfare for all. The organisation provides livelihood, disaster relief, access to basic human rights and education to all. This includes projects such as oxygen relief during Covid-19, or helping farmers meet their essential needs during this time. You can donate here.
Mukul Madhav Foundation (@mukulmadhavfoundation)
The Mukul Madhav Foundation is a Public Charitable Trust, renowned for its charitable activities in the healthcare, social welfare, and education sectors. At the moment, the foundation is focusing its efforts on supporting India during the second wave of Covid-19. They created a donation link that will help buy oxygen concentrators, ventilators, care packages and safety kits, as well as cooked meals for caregivers.
Mission Oxygen India (@missionoxygenindia)
Mission Oxygen began as an initiative across Delhi/NCR to aid and assist hospitals that were running out of oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients. The initiative has already provided more than 3900 oxygen concentrators to hospitals and they are looking to donate more, along with oxygen cylinders.
Food and Essential Support
Akshaya Patra (@theakshayapatrafoundation)
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an NGO headquartered in Bengaluru, India. The organisation strives to eliminate classroom hunger through donations by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in government schools and government-aided schools. Alongside this, Akshaya Patra’s goal is also to counter malnutrition and support the right to education for socio-economically disadvantaged children.
Action Aid India (@actionaid_india)
Action Aid India is an organisation working for social and ecological justice. Their mission is to work in solidarity with the poor and excluded as well as participate in their struggle to eradicate poverty, patriarchy and injustice. During Covid-19, Action Aid India has used donations to provide food to people across India, cash transfers to workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, PPE and safety kits to frontline workers, supporting families that are sick and more.
Since 1999, Goonj, an organisation based all around India, has built a network of communities from urban to village India, channeling material as a tool to address crucial gaps in rural infrastructure, water, environment, livelihood, education, health, disaster relief and rehabilitation. During Covid-19, Goonj has helped distribute food ration kits and introduced vegetables in local relief kits for nutrition as well as sustaining agriculture and focusing on neglected communities. They accept donations at this link.
Mental Health Support
Mithra Trust (@mithratrust)
The Mithra Trust is based in multiple places in India, with the purpose of providing mental health information, and tools, in a way that a peer would. Mithra provides safe spaces both online and offline for people to express themselves, introspect, feel a sense of connectedness and belonging. Thanks to donations, they work on promoting understanding, empathy, and connectedness, both online and offline.
iCall helpline (@icallhelpline)
iCall helpline is a telephone and email-based counseling service run by the School of Human Ecology and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The service offers free telephone and email-based counseling services to individuals in emotional and psychological distress, across age, language, gender, sexual orientation and issues, through a team of qualified and trained mental health professionals. The organisation accepts both financial and non-financial donations.
The Mental Health Movement Chandigarh (@mhm_chd)
The MHM clinic, based in Chandigarh, India, offers mental health services. During the pandemic, the mental health movement started offering affordable therapy through virtual means, either by video or phone. Simply fill in their form to express interest in affordable therapy.
Hibiscus Foundation (@hibiscus.foundation)
Hibiscus Foundation for Social Welfare is a youth-run and youth-led foundation established in 2020. Their primary focus is mental health advocacy and awareness. They provide Pro-bono counselling, prioritising women and the LGBTQ+ community, & ensure accurate dissemination of information that pushes the agenda of mental health advocacy. Donate here.
Udaan Welfare Foundation (@udaanwelfarefoundation)
Udaan Welfare Foundation is a Non Profit Organisation headquartered in Mumbai. Its mission is to provide timely and meaningful support to needy children, women & Senior Citizens by effectively implementing projects in the area of Health, Education and Nutrition, which have a sustainable, cost effective and positive impact on society & Environment. They have continued these projects during the pandemic; projects you can participate in through donations.
United Way (@unitedway)
United Way Mumbai improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good. Their goal is to bring people together – NGOs, companies, individuals and government agencies – to work towards improving community conditions. During Covid, United Way has helped women earn a livelihood and facilitate vaccination for low income communities. You can donate to the livelihood project or any other straight through their website.
Find out more about these organisations and how to donate through their websites or Instagrams, linked above.