As COVID-19 spread like wildfire in India, concerns grew as the country continued to break bleak global pandemic records. With increasing desperation and the movement of people the virus began to spread to rural villages. That’s when Dr. Harmesh Sidher knew something needed to be done to help rural and remote villagers where Vivek Canada operates its four schools: “It’s heartbreaking that corona virus is causing mass death in India and is pushing the healthcare system to the brink of collapse”.
As a registered Canadian charity for the past fifteen years, Vivek Canada has been working with communities in rural and remote areas in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), India. Dr. Sidher along with a group of friends mostly expats, founded Vivek Canada in 2006. The goal: to give back in areas where it’s needed the most. To try and improve education and opportunity for youth in remote jungle villages of India’s U.P. state – one of the areas with the worst rates of literacy in the country. “We go where nobody else goes”, says Dr. Sidher.
From the area in which Vivek Canada operates its schools, the nearest hospital is located 25km away in Puranpur.Vivek Canada launched the India Covid Relief Fund to provide:
- Medical supplies (such as: gloves, PPE, masks, oxygen concentrators, oximeters and no-touch thermometers) to the Puranpur hospital.
- Kits containing soap, masks and hand sanitizer to families.
- Food supplies to those unable to work and/or leave their homes.
All supplies will be purchased and distributed by Vivek Canada in India.
In the village where Vivek Canada operates a primary school, WWF India (World Wildlife Fund) has donated sewing machines to rural women in order to stitch masks. By partnering with WWF to help prevent the spread of the virus in the Puranpur area, this project is generating income for rural women and Vivek Canada is purchasing these masks in order to distribute for free in the community.
On May 29, Vivek Canada collaborated with Neeraj Kumar (Vancouver Indian Forum), Aziz Ladha (Studio Sangam DBX) and Rajiv Sood from Toronto Musical Group for a virtual Benefit Concert for the India Covid Relief Fund. Several talented vocalists brought us together in song, hope and prayers. To watch the live streamed concert:
Vivek Canada would like to thank the following Benefit Concert sponsors: AroGill Auto (Mani Arora), AAA Auto Collision (Harmesh Sharma), Amit Sipani Financial Services, Anil Kumar Mortgages and Pan Canada Immigration Services (Nivrita Sowali); Media partners: ZEE TV Canada (Amit Khanna) and Drishti Magazine (Nawal Tandon).
With community support and efforts, the India Covid Relief Fund is providing urgent medical supplies to rural Indians. So far, the India Covid Relief Fund has raised over $11,000. Donations are still being accepted until June 30, 2021.
To donate to the India Covid Relief Fund, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/282275090267672/
To learn more about Vivek Canada, please visit: http://www.vivekcanada.org