Canadian charity launches fundraising appeal for COVID-stricken India

By: Lynn Desjardins
The charity Plan International Canada is launching an urgent fundraising appeal to support its COVID-19 response in India.  As of 2016, there were 1.37 million people of east Indian origin living in Canada. Many of them have relatives living in India and are horrified by the rampant spread of the virus there, scenes of overwhelmed hospitals, the lack of oxygen supplies for the sick and images of funeral pyres burning in parks for a lack of space. The fundraising drive may appeal to many of these worried Canadians.

‘It’s breaking my heart’

Sukhmeet Singh Sachal is a medical student who has been co-ordinating teams of volunteers to provide COVID-19 education in Sikh gurdwaras in the western province of British Columbia. “I feel so helpless that I can’t do anything for my family in India,” he told CBC News.”Hospitals are turning away people because they just don’t have the capacity and, honestly, it’s breaking my heart.”
Today, India set another global record for new COVID-19 cases with more than 379-thousand new infections reported. More than 200,000 people have died.

Donations designated for food, cash, PPE, information campaigns

Plan International Canada says donations from Canadians would provide food aid for hard-hit families and bolster supply shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. The charity would also use funds to set up temporary COVID-19 care centres in hotspots across 20 districts, distribute hygiene kits filled with sanitation supplies, provide cash support for families who have lost their livelihoods due to lockdowns and run mass information campaigns.
“What’s happening in India right now is devastating and children desperately need our help,”  says Lindsay Glassco, Plan International Canada’s president and CEO. “By giving to Plan  International Canada, Canadians can directly support our emergency response in India to help  stop the spread of this virus in communities and save lives.”

Canadian government will contribute

Earlier this week,a spokesperson for Canada’s Global Affairs department added that Canadians who want to donate can contribute through the Red Cross. On April 27, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged support of $10 million for the Indian Red Cross channeled through the Canadian Red Cross. “This will support everything from ambulance services to buying more PPE locally,” he said.