Snippets from UK: Top Charity Group Issues Appeal for India, Charles Joins Aid Efforts

·3-min read

Umbrella Body of Charities Seeks Aid for India: The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a major international umbrella grouping that raises support for emergencies and disasters across the world, has extended its coronavirus appeal to include India as an additional country. The DEC had launched its coronavirus appeal in July last year. That appeal has raised about 56 million dollars so far. The money raised April 28, 2021, onwards will be spent mainly in India. Several of the DEC member charities, that include 14 leading UK charities, are already active in India.

British Businesses May Offer Support: The Cumbria Chamber of Commerce in Britain's Lake District is mobilising businesses in the region to step in to support national and international efforts in support of India. That now adds to appeals put out by the United Nations agency UNICEF, the British Asian Trust, the UKIBC (United Kingdom India Business Council) and the British Chambers of Commerce. The appeals are in line with the call from the Indian High Commission in London for support for specific products: empty, refillable oxygen cylinders with 10 litres and 45 litres capacity, oxygen concentrators, in situ oxygen manufacturing plants for hospitals, and the antiviral remdesivir.

Charles Sends ‘Thoughts and Prayers’, Urges Help for India: Prince Charles is reported to be taking a personal interest in the 'Oxygen for India' emergency appeal launched by the British Asian Trust he heads. His message through the trust on Wednesday was exceptionally warm. "Indian aid and ingenuity has been a support to other countries through this immensely difficult time,” he said. “As India has helped others, so now must we help India. I would also want those suffering the effects of this pandemic in India to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers."

British Indian Jewish Association Joins Aid Drive: The British Indian Jewish Association is strongly backing the emergency assistance call by the British Asian Trust (BAT). "Our religions talk about the value and sanctity of human life. We know from our own communities' experiences in the UK the devastation that Covid can bring. By supporting BAT's appeal, we want to give an outlet for all those who wish to help India at this really hard time." It says that £50 will provide oxygen for 40 patients; £450 will fund a low-flow oxygen concentrator to help 900 patients with breathing difficulties and £830 will pay for a high-flow oxygen concentrator to help 550 of the most seriously ill patients.

Pedalling a Message: Many Indian organisations are launching appeals, some of them innovatively. The Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden has launched a static cycling relay challenge that aims to cover 7,600 km, the distance from London to Delhi, in 48 hours between May 1 and 3. Individual cyclists who will take their turn on the static bike are being sponsored by family and friends and other groups. The mandir is raising funds also through other initiatives for money to be sent through the JustGiving programme.

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