Covid India: Twitter turns to Sewa International with $2.5mn backing

Covid India: Twitter turns to Sewa International with $2.5mn backing

In a ringing endorsement of the dedicated work being done by the charity Sewa International in coordinating relief efforts on the ground with its Covid India appeals, Twitter has stepped in with a $2.5 million donation for Sewa International USA.

The Silicon Valley based social media giant co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey made the announcement on his platform, with a linked document giving more information on how the funds will be used.

The statement read: “Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, non-profit service organisation. This grant will support the procurement of lifesaving equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP [Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure] and CPAP [Continuous Positive Airway Pressure] machines as part of Sewa International's ‘Help India Defeat Covid-19’ campaign.

“In partnership with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, equipment will be distributed to government hospitals and Covid-19 care centres and hospitals."

Dedicated efforts

Sewa International, with chapters around the world, has been at work for weeks and will be delivering over 8,000 oxygen concentrators to India by next week. Alongside Sewa International India’s 1,000 volunteer network across 22 states, the group has mobilised efforts around fundraising as well as an eGlobalDoctors.Com platform to allow medics from the global Indian diaspora to be able to help meet the high demand as India battles a severe second wave of the pandemic.

Sandeep Khandkekar, Sewa International Vice President for Marketing and Fund Development, said Twitter’s generosity will go a long way in its worldwide efforts.

He said: “We are a volunteer-driven non-profit organisation, and we believe in serving all, following the sacred Hindu benediction Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (may all be happy).

“Our administrative costs are about five per cent, meaning that every dollar a donor offers, we spend 95 cents of it on the work that it is earmarked for. In these past two weeks, we have seen how overwhelmed India's healthcare system is, and we want to do as much as we can to come to the aid of people who are deeply affected.

“Twitter's generosity will go a long way in helping us do the work we want to do, and that we need to do."

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Diaspora drives

Meanwhile, the Sewa UK appeal, which kicked off two weeks ago, has raised over £360,000. Around 250 oxygen concentrators have been procured, of which 150 have been delivered and 50 already distributed.

On Sunday, the organisation is organising a special Sewa in Action webinar to take stock of the ground reports from India, including updates on how the Sewa UK appeal donations are positively impacting the people of India.

Sewa is a universal concept, which involves performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward. It is performed selflessly and without ulterior motive. As a concept, Sewa is embedded in Indian traditions and formed the basis for the creation of Sewa International as a worldwide network.

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