Non-profit in US helps with ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India

As the US relaxes some COVID-19 guidelines, India is dealing with a massive surge in cases.

Sewa International is a Hindu-based non-profit humanitarian organization that has a chapter in Atlanta. The group has been raising money and providing critical supplies to hospitals in India.

Gitesh Desai is a member of the all-volunteer organization.

He said the word "sewa" means selfless service in Sanskrit and the group is dedicated to this mission.

"We already sent 400 oxygen concentrators to India already. They should arrive by Friday morning," Desai said.

Hospitals in India are struggling to keep up with the surge, as the country reports more than 350,000 new cases a day.

People are being turned away due to the lack of supplies, like oxygen and medicine.

"This second surge caught everyone by surprise," Desai said.

He, as well as many other Indian-Americans, have loved ones in India, so watching the crisis unfold has been difficult.

"It's depressing. It's very depressing to see what is happening in India," Desai said.

The group's "Help India Defeat COVID-19" campaign has already brought in over $4 million in donations.

This money will be used to purchase more lifesaving equipment for hospitals. The group also has boots on the ground in India.

"We have 500 plus volunteers on the ground in India. They are distributing flyers with information and going door to door so people get information about COVID-19," Desai said.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 17 million people in India have been diagnosed with the virus and nearly 200,000 people have lost their lives.

With no slowdown in sight, Desai said they'll continue to do all they can to help.

"We have a lot longer to go in this fight, so it's not over until it's over," he said.

You can find more information about Sewa International and how you can help on their website.

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