By: Shelbin MS
A NETWORK of South Asian National Health Service (NHS) leaders in the UK has taken initiative as a voluntary staff network to raise more than £46,000 (more than Rs 47 lakh) (with gift aid) to support India’s healthcare response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The South Asian NHS leaders’ group – APNA NHS (Our NHS) – was deeply touched by the situation in India which was hit by a devastating second wave of the pandemic in April and May. Subsequently, the members raised the money and their India Covid Crisis Appeal has been split into five different charities — Akshaya Patra, British Asian Trust, The Hope Foundation, Khalsa Aid and Sewa International.
Jagtar Singh, a member of the APNA NHS staff network, said, “Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising appeal so far. Their generosity has helped APNA NHS staff network to get vital life-saving equipment (oxygen, ventilators, PPE) to those most impacted by the Covid pandemic in India. Throughout, we have worked closely with the Indian high commission in Birmingham and have collaborated with both British and Indian clinicians in order to receive feedback and also to share mutual learning.”
He added, “We have been working with five charities to act as a vehicle to get critical resources to the places that need them most, quickly. We know all too well that the Covid crisis in India is a global crisis, and we are all passionate about playing our part to help the world beat this virus together.”
Ram Bhupal, a colleague of Singh, said, “The Covid situation in India is still one of the worst in the world, and they still need our support. We are now focusing on supporting recovery, including the mass vaccinations programme, particularly with marginalised communities, and supporting mental health programmes, for orphans for example.”
He expressed gratitude for the support the network got in its initiative to help India and urged people to encourage others to step forward.
“We are so grateful for all the support people have given – your donation, however large or small, is vital. Please continue to share our Virgin fundraising page with your friends and networks,” he added.