Singapore-based startup consultant Sauria Velagapudi has not lived in India since she was eight when she and her family emigrated to a new life in the United States.
But the 32-year-old says he still has close ties to the country, which is why he promised to save his life to fund an aid mission in India.
Recently in India, he lost one of the largest members of the family, Covid. That personal tragedy convinced him that he had to intervene to help.
“It is a bond that cannot be broken,” he said, quoting a popular Bollywood song about the emotional connection of foreign Indians to their country of origin.
Mr donates $ 5,000 a day to Velagapood until his savings are spent on various aid missions in India, including AID India.
“Bankruptcy does not matter to me,” said Mr Velagapudi. “People need to understand how difficult the situation is.”
That mood prompted tens of millions of dollars in aid this week from all over the world, mostly from the Indian Diaspora.
“Each of us has a family there”
Some of the biggest names in the Indian Diaspora have joined, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Silicon Valley investor and billionaire Vinod Khoslan.
“We are receiving requests from all over India, mainly from Delhi, for oxygen, PPE, medicines, air conditioners and anything else you need right now at the hospital,” Hargit Gill, executive director of the APACMED Regional Health Trade Association, told the BBC in Singapore. :
Mrs. Gill is a British citizen of Indian descent. He added that help was coming from all sides, as almost no one of Indian descent was left out.
“Everyone is heartbroken. Each of us has a family there. We just want to find a way to help. ”
The Indian Diaspora is one of the largest in the world, with almost 20 million people of Indian descent worldwide.
It is a close-knit community that maintains strong ties with a country decades ago looking for better prospects elsewhere.
Devika Mehndiratta is an Indian economist living in Singapore. This week he had to deal with the death of two loved ones of his large family in India.
He blames India’s central government for its lack of planning and carelessness in the escalating second wave of Covidian death.
“We are not just talking about an increase in cases,” he said. “It’s about people dying from a lack of basic oxygen.”
He added that the central government preferred to focus on mass rallies that won the election in West Bengal, turning a blind eye to risky religious events such as the Kumbh Mela, and focusing on red flags for oxygen shortages in February. in hospitals.
“People are literally left to fend for themselves. That is why the private sector had to become stronger. “
India’s health minister has defended the government, saying the country has the lowest mortality rate in the world and that oxygen supplies are “adequate”.
Private rescue companies
Domestic companies based in India tried to help.
India’s leading private steel company JSW Group is cutting steel production at its plants to divert oxygen supplies to patients.
In a statement to the BBC, the company said it was urgently building large Covid centers around its plants, where JSW was laying a special pipeline to supply oxygen directly to patients.
Other companies, such as Tata Group, Reliance and Delivhery, have also invested.
“India’s healthcare system is in dire need of resources, ‘this is a long-term, long-term problem,'” Pavitra Suryanarayan, a political scientist at Pav Hopkin University, told the BBC.
Ms. Suryanarayan says the India crisis needs a coordinated global approach.
“This must be a global effort. If you allow India to go through that alone, you are going to let the virus come back to bite you.
“You can put money on it, but you can’t build health overnight.
“Even finding enough oxygen or weakening vaccines will take weeks. Until then, very dark days await India. “