In a bid to fight the crisis India is facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a group of students and alumni from top international universities including UPenn, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell have joined hands and started a fundraiser. The student-led effort, launched last week, aims to pool funds and channel them to the organisations working in India to minimise the shortage of oxygen, protective equipment, and other medical supplies that are straining the healthcare system.
The group associated with the fundraising initiative is also helping students with their application process, school selection and university interviews in exchange for donations to organisations working towards COVID-19 relief in India.
Funds, as part of this initiative, are donated to COVID relief foundations which have been authorized to supply equipment to hospitals and COVID-19 care centres in India. Funds are disbursed by the foundations to provide resources and equipment like oxygen cylinders, oximeters, and food, an official statement said.
Harvard Business School student Shyamli Badgaiyan was among those who quickly mobilized a fundraising effort that has already raised more than $160,000 in aid.
Ms Badgaiyan, who leads the initiative with Priyank Lathwal, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, has mobilized South Asian student organizations across Harvard as well as students from more than 20 universities including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown, MIT, Northwestern University, Tufts, and the University of Pittsburgh to jointly fundraise.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter and hailed the efforts of Ms Badgaiyan. “Proud of Shyamli Badgaiyan, who had worked with my MP office in Delhi. Idealism & commitment never wear out,” Mr Tharoor said.
Proud of Shyamli Badgaiyan, who had worked with my MP office in Delhi. Idealism & commitment never wear out! #COVIDSecondWavehttps://t.co/w2Oni6SZCt— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 7, 2021