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 a 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 up to £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)
In choosing organisations to donate to, our team prioritized life saving goods and services to locations and communities that were either in most need, or who had the least access to it. Knowing that a short list of four or five names would not cover every location and/or community, we tried to find NGOs that reached marginalized communities in areas that were already under immense strain, knowing that these communities are exceptionally vulnerable during this time.
During the first tranche, we were limited by the requirement that recipient NGOs had to have FCRA clearance to ensure the safety of our donations, which did narrow the list of possibilities, and excluded many small organizations. Of the four NGOs selected for the first tranche, three - Mercy Mission, Delhi Solidarity Group, and Raah Foundation - are small organisations working in Bangalore, Maharashtra, and Delhi respectively. Raah Foundation and Mercy Mission help with the supply of/access to Oxygen, while the Delhi Solidarity group provide COVID relief for marginalized communities. We included one large NGO, SEEDS, in the first tranche because they gave us the option of directing our aid to Uttar Pradesh, a state which few others on the list had access to.
Going forward, we are looking into options that will allow us to support small NGOs, either through a donation platform, or by purchasing equipment in the UK and sending them directly to the recipient NGOs.
We intend to select three to five organisations for every ten thousand pounds raised. Through them, we aim to support the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in areas where there is the greatest need. A report on every group of organisations being donated to will be provided here when they are selected.
The international community recognises the oxygen shortage and health crisis developing in India following the resurgence of COVID-19 cases as a human rights disaster. Individuals are suffering the full physical, economical and psychological detriment of the pandemic with insufficient medical resources to alleviate the issue. Official sources report record numbers of new cases, most recently confirming over 350,000 new cases in just one day taking the total number of infections over 17 million. There have been nearly 200,000 COVID-related deaths reported, a death toll that rivals disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Investigatory reports suggest that the true number of deaths could still be orders of magnitude greater than this harrowing official count.
This fundraiser is jointly organised by the Oxford India Society, the Oxford South Asian Society and the Oxford Hindu Societywhich are three student societies representing the South Asian Community at the University of Oxford. Our goal is contribute through Indian charities to the provision of oxygen and the improvement of medical care. For any questions/queries, please contact Sushrut Royyuru, Oxford India Society Treasurer.
While we want to raise as much money as possible, the initial aim of the fundraiser is to raise £10,000 in 10 days. The most pressing concerns currently are the provision of oxygen cylinders to patients in need of them and the maintenance of an adequate number of hospital beds.
Current estimates place the cost of a 100 litre oxygen cylinder between £80 to £200 depending on location and level of demand. The cost of refilling these cylinders varies between £4 and £8. O2 concentrators, another vital tool in treating critical patients, can cost between £800 to £900.
£10,000 could fund nearly 100 oxygen cylinders for areas in need. Alternatively, it could provide over 1500 refills of oxygen cylinders or around 10 new 5-litre O2 concentrators. Exceeding our target would result in ever greater impact.
At the conclusion of the fundraiser, we intend to donate the money to several NGOs in India by international transfer that provide essential relief like oxygen, ventilators, food/water aid and home medication to acutely affected areas. We will continue to update and refine our shortlist over the course of the fundraiser as the situation in India continues to develop.
Hospital beds in Delhi, one of the most severely affected areas, can cost between £80 to £150 per day depending on the severity of a patients condition. This means our target would provide relief equivalent to 100 hospital bed-days.
We call upon all members of the Oxford community to provide aid and support both India and their fellow students during this difficult time.
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