indica News Bureau-
In the U.S. more than 37 million people face food insecurity, with food banks struggling to meet a massive increase in need. In India, nearly 140 million migrant workers have been displaced and remain in dire need of food and other essentials.
A high-profile diaspora group of some of the top Indian American corporate executives and leaders have raised USD 600,000 to fight hunger and provide direct relief to vulnerable populations affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and India.
Contributions to ChaloGive.org will meet demand on the ground through beneficiary nonprofits Feeding America and Goonj in the United States and India, respectively.
High-profile ambassadors have endorsed the ongoing campaign, including former Pepsi Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who serve on Feeding America’s Food Security Council and Board of Directors, respectively.
“This pandemic has exposed an already existing hunger crisis,” said Indra Nooyi, former Pepsico CEO.
“Together, as a society, we must rise to this moment and address this great need knowing our investment in people, in families, and in communities will reap untold benefits not only now but into the future,” she said.
“ChaloGive for COVID-19 provides an opportunity for the Indian diaspora to make a collective impact toward helping marginalized communities who have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing crisis,” said a press note released by Indiaspora.
The campaign was launched by Indiaspora has raised USD 500,000 from its leadership network. Indiaspora also announced another USD 100,000 as matching donation for its online giving campaign starting Friday.
“This crisis has made it even harder for those who were already struggling to survive,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures and a founder of IT services company Infosys, who is also an Indiaspora Founders Circle member. “Given the increasingly global world we are living in, India and its diaspora are in a unique and powerful position to help each other.”
Money raised by Indiaspora will meet demand on the ground through beneficiary non-profits Feeding America in the US and Goonj in India, a media release said.
In India, Goonj provides disaster relief, rehabilitation and community development with dignity. Through their Rahat COVID-19 initiative, given their already pan-India network and presence, Goonj has already initiated relief work of reaching food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in parts of fourteen states of India.
“We are facing an unprecedented situation due to COVID-19,” said Anand Rajaraman, a Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and an Indiaspora Founders Circle member who, along with his wife Kaushie Adiseshan, is a lead donor for the campaign.
“While all eyes are on frontline hospitals, millions in America and across the globe suffer silently from a growing and equally alarming epidemic of food insecurity as the COVID-19 crisis threatens to push already struggling families deeper into poverty,” said Sejal Hathi, an Indiaspora Board member and physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Now more than ever is the time for communities like Indiaspora’s to come together and rise to this call to feed people in need,” Hathi said.
“Goonj is just the kind of organization we can rely on in this double crisis of health and livelihoods,” said Rohini Nilekani. “It has decades of experience serving the most vulnerable while striving to preserve the dignity of every stakeholder, and it has time and time again demonstrated a scaled up, rapid response in the aftermath of disasters. We have been supporters of Goonj for many years. They care, and they deliver. Thank you all for your generosity and your support.”
In India, Indiaspora is working with Goonj, founded by Anshu Gupta, a Magsaysay Award winner. Goonj, which provides disaster relief, rehabilitation and community development, has already initiated relief work, distributing food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in 14 Indian states.
“Despite our extensive experience of working in disasters, the scale and still unfolding nature of this long-tailed disaster calls for massive resource mobilization for short-, mid- and long-term work,” said Gupta. “We are delighted to partner with Indiaspora on this campaign as an opportunity to engage the Indian American community and our well wishers from across the world in supporting their fellow citizens in this difficult hour.”
According to Indiaspora, contributions made at ChaloGive.org are fully tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
ChaloGive for COVID-19 is the second online giving campaign by Indiaspora. Its inaugural ChaloGive campaign launched October 2, 2019 on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, from October 2-8, 2019, highlighting more than 20 organizations with successful track records in areas of poverty alleviation and empowerment, health, and education.