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Oxford, Cambridge students raise over Rs 18 lakh for Covid relief in India

Oxford and Cambridge societies have reached one-third of their goal to raise £50,000, which is about Rs 51 lakh, towards Covid relief in India. The joint fundraiser was launched Saturday.

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New Delhi: Students of Oxford and Cambridge universities in the UK have raised over Rs 18 lakh (£17,636) out of a goal of over Rs 51 lakh (£50,000 goal) towards Covid-19 relief in India.

“Our goal is to contribute through Indian charities to the provision of oxygen and the improvement of medical care,” states the GoFundMe page through which the fundraiser is being organised.

The societies organising the joint endeavour include Oxford India Society, Oxford Hindu Society and Oxford South Asian Society along with the Cambridge University India Society, the Cambridge South Asia Forum, and the Cambridge University Bharatiya Society.

India is currently battling a second wave of Covid-19 and facing acute oxygen shortage. The country has been reporting more than 3 lakh infections daily for over 10 days now and registered the highest ever number of daily cases at 4,01,993 Saturday.

The Oxford and Cambridge societies have referred to the situation as a “human rights disaster”.

In a statement released to the media Saturday, Nishant Saxena, president of the Cambridge University India Society, said: “Witnessing such difficult times in India is hurtful. Being Indian not only requires us to celebrate the country’s successes but to help amidst times of crisis despite living abroad.”

Rs 10 lakh raised earlier

The fundraiser launched by the two universities comes after Oxford students raised over Rs 10 lakh (£10,000) in 72 hours. As stated on the GoFundMe page, the £10,000 could fund nearly 100 oxygen cylinders for areas in need, provide over 1,500 refills of oxygen cylinders or around 10 new 5-litre O2 concentrators.

The initial Rs 10 lakh raised by Oxford students will be donated to four NGOs in India battling the coronavirus crisis. These include Raah Foundation in Palghar Maharashtra, which is providing oxygen concentrators, medicines and safety kits mainly to tribal communities; Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS), which serves vulnerable and marginalised populations in various states; the Delhi Solidarity Group, which is a group of community organisations working towards social justice; and Mercy Mission, a coalition of NGOs working for Covid-19 relief in Bengaluru.

“Indian youth is at the helm of our COVID relief effort. As a relief volunteer myself, watching the Oxbridge youth parallelly come together at such a crucial stage is therefore remarkable,” said Suyesha Dutta, President of Oxford South Asia Society.


Also read: 17 ‘triggering’ images, each tells story of Delhi’s Covid disaster that a thousand words can’t


 

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