New Delhi: A group of students and alumni from top international universities have joined hands and started a fundraiser to help India fight its COVID-19 battle. The universities include UPenn, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. 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, NDTV reported.
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 are being donated to COVID relief foundations which have been authorised 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, NDTV reported quoting an official statement.
Harvard Business School student Shyamli Badgaiyan was among those who quickly mobilised a fundraising effort that has already raised more than $160,000 in aid. She leads the initiative with Priyank Lathwal, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, who has mobilised South Asian student organisations 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, the report added.
Congratulating Badgaiyan back home is senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who took to Twitter. “Proud of Shyamli Badgaiyan, who had worked with my MP office in Delhi. Idealism & commitment never wear out,” Tharoor wrote.