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To Aid Covid-19 Raises Money for Crisis Back Home, Indian-American Doctor

The 28-year-old Penn doctor and her friends are raising the money to send medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators, to hospitals in India struggling to cope with the crisis.

Amid the frightening second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Indians abroad, already grappling with the emotional toll of losing loved ones half a world away, are pulling in resources themselves and through crowd-funding to help authorities back home fight the virus. One of those trying to send help is Ruchika Talwar, 28, a resident physician at the University of Pennsylvania in the US. On Friday, Talwar shared a screenshot of a report that was carried in CNN, which stated that she had raised $5,00,000 so far to send medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators, to hospitals in India struggling to cope with the crisis.

Thanking all those who have trusted her with their donations, she added, “There’s still so much work to be done.” She also posted an update, which said, “Our Delhi concentrator shipment has made it through customs intact and is on the ground in India.”

In another post, she shared a photo of the “shipment of concentrators and supplies on the ground in Delhi”.

Talwar has been regularly posting updates on Instagram about how and where they are sending the much-needed medical supplies – Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata. She said they plan to include rural areas as well. Earlier, on April 29, she had posted another update, saying that she and a group of other area doctors have raised nearly $75,000 through donations. She outlined the reasons behind setting up the fundraiser, saying it was started to pay for the first shipment of 25 oxygen concentrators to India. “It was the most direct way to use every penny, without fees,” she added.

India is facing an unprecedented crisis, with COVID-19 cases setting records for highest single-day figures globally. For more than a week, India has reported daily cases in excess of 3 lakh. The medical infrastructure is creaking under the pressure of patients and many of them are running out of oxygen. In such a situation, Indians around the world are responding to lend a helping hand through such grassroots initiatives.

On Friday, India saw more than 4,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 in a single day for the first time. In the last 24 hours, 4,187 people died, taking total deaths to 2.38 lakh. The country recorded 4.01 lakh cases on Friday, taking the active caseload to 37,23,446.