FIA’s Covid heroes answer distress call
When the second wave of Covid-19 began to batter India, members of the Indian diaspora in the US immediately got into action, making contributions, coordinating relief work, offering their expertise to their Indian counterparts. FIA salutes these Covid heroes who rose to the occasion
Thee second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India has been unfortunate. The country reported the maximum fresh cases of Covid-19 in the world. The health infrastructure came under tremendous pressure. The country that had helped many others in their fight against Covid-19 was dialing an SOS to every ally. And, they did not disappoint. Not just at diplomatic level, efforts were made even at individual and organizational levels to help India through its dark hours. As the gravity of the situation unraveled, several Indians settled in the US realized they could not be mute spectators to their motherland’s difficulties. Thus began the mission to help India The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) has pledged its full support to the Indian government. Several members of the community even came forward to help aid efforts.
FIA prez shows the way
Among the benefactors from the diaspora is FIA president Anil Bansal, who has been doing his bit for his motherland in his individual capacity. In the recent months, Bansal has personally and through his foundation ‘Bansal Charitable Foundation’ donated $100,000 towards various Covid relief works in India He donated $50,000 towards construction of a gas crematorium in India to help dispose of bodies of deceased Covid patients. “We just want to do as much as we can. When Covid struck, we decided to ramp up our work. We can imagine what people in India must be going through. We have been contributing to various causes. When BJANA said they were raising funds for crematoriums, I felt that instead of putting money in multiple works, I could contribute in one place,” said Bansal Besides this, Bansal Foundation has been doing food pantries. It has also been supporting FIA’s relief work by taking care of peripheral or logistics requirements.
Empowered women of FIA take charge of aid work
“Being a doctor I just could not digest the fact that people are dying without oxygen and medical care,” said Dr Uma Rani Madhusudana, a physician of Internal Medicine. She is one of the recipients of the woman’s empowerment award presented by FIA this year to women achievers among the Indian diaspora. Dr Uma Rani got in touch with her physician friends back in India to get an insight into the situation there. “I reached out to the Indian Embassy / Consulate General to find out about shipping of oxygen to India.” Dr Uma Rani is a member of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Connecticut Association of Physicians of Indian origin (CAPI). “As an organization we helped in mobilizing the oxygen concentrators. AAPI helped a lot,” she added. Through CAPI, oxygen plants were installed in Delhi with the help of the president of Rotary Club. It may be noted that Delhi hospitals had faced severe oxygen shortage recently amid surge in severe cases of Covid-19, because of which several patients had lost their lives. Dr Uma Rani is also part of a Covid consult group that has been supporting doctors as well as patients in India with their questions and concerns. She is not alone. Rashmi Aggarwal, a nurse and active member of Indian Nurses association AAIN-NJ2 for over two years now, too has been actively involved in coordinating for relief material to be sent to India. Like Dr Uma Rani, Rashmi too had been recognized for her achievements by FIA on the International Women’s Day this year. Rashmi proposed that a group be formed to address the needs in India and help for much-needed supplies like oxygen concentrators , masks, sanitizer as well as other forms of PPE. She created a group to bring resources from all realms to stand together and work towards relief work in India the support and resources gathered from everyone and organized focused activity She spearheaded the fundraising task to generate monetary support for supplies for smaller hospitals in remote rural areas of India.
Doctors from BJANA offer telemedicine sessions
Dr Avinash Gupta, president of BiharJharkhand Association of North America (BJANA), his wife Dr Geeta Gupta and doctors from Bihar and Jharkhand living in the US have been providing telemedicine sessions to Covid patients and their relatives across the world. They have been offering their services through the BJANA PRAN Covid helpline, led by Dr Dinesh Ranjan. Through the sessions on Zoom breakout rooms from 7 am to 8:30 am IST every day. the doctors offer medical advice for those who can be cured at home. So far, over 1,000 Covid patients have benefitted from this service. BJANAPRAN has also started a Covid Care Center in Patna in c o l l a b o r a t i o n with Aastha charitable & Welfare Society.