A static bicycle ride to cover the symbolic distance between London and New Delhi is among the several initiatives and drives being undertaken by British Indians as they continue to raise funds to help support the Covid India crisis.
Bob Blackman, Conservative Party MP for Harrow East – a London constituency with a large diaspora population, informed the House of Commons: “At a time of humanitarian crisis, the people of this country are incredibly generous. The Indian diaspora in particular are conducting fundraising events via temples and other religious places across the country this weekend, including the world-famous Neasden Temple.
“It is doing a static sponsored bike ride for 7,600km, the distance between London and New Delhi.”
It follows the launching an international emergency appeal campaign to support the BAPS relief efforts across India.
Prince Charles, whose charity had launched its Oxygen for India appeal, led calls for people to donate generously and help those affected in India in their hour of need.
The said in a statement: “For well over a year the pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many of us around the world. This week, I have been deeply saddened by the tragic images we have all seen as Covid-19 takes its horrific toll in India.
“With support from the , the British Asian Trust has launched an emergency appeal for India to channel this desire to do something about this terrible situation and help save lives. Many members of the diaspora, and others including businesses, trusts and foundations, have already come together behind this appeal. I do hope that even more of us might be able to provide support to help those in India in their time of need.
“Like many others, I have a great love for India and have enjoyed many wonderful visits to the country. Indian aid and ingenuity has been a support to other countries throughout this immensely difficult time. As India has helped others, so now must we help India.”
The Trust has said its emergency appeal will raise funds for oxygen concentrators, and together with local partners in India, will rapidly deploy them to the hospitals and patients that need them most. A donation of £50 will provide oxygen for 40 patients struggling to breathe, £450 will provide low-flow oxygen concentrator to help 900 patients and an £830 donation will provide high-flow oxygen concentrator to help 550 of the most seriously ill patients.
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Meanwhile, several doctors’ organisations have also come together to coordinate fundraising as well as telemedicine efforts. Hundreds signed up to a telemedicine project organised by the .
“Not just a national crisis for India, this is a global crisis. The virus has no boundaries, it doesn’t need a passport to travel,” said BAPIO Chairman Dr J.S. Bamrah.
The has been set up in collaboration with Doctors Association UK (DAUK), Apna NHS and Akshaya Patra with the aim to:
Provide Oxygen: Acquire and coordinate distribution of vital oxygen generating and distribution equipment to help hospitals and healthcare facilities provide oxygen to the patients.
Provide free food: To all in need by collaborating with Akshaya Patra so that no one goes hungry if they are unable to work.
Provide expert medical help: By setting up tele-consulting and tele-advice helplines to assist healthcare workers deal with immense demands.
The groups said they are working closely with the High Commission of India in London and various National Health Service (NHS) organisations.