05:00PM, Thursday 29 April 2021
Humanitarian charity Khalsa Aid will be shipping hundreds of oxygen concentrators to India following a call for donations to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ravi Singh, founder of the Slough-based charity said many of the volunteers have family in India, and that the country is suffering from a devastating second wave with 200,000 deaths reported.
He said: “The sheer scale of it is unbelievable – you can never imagine what the situation in India is.
“It’s a horrible situation, no one expected such a tsunami of suffering.
“We have all got family in India, there’s absolute fear among people, fear of catching the virus.”
He added that there is a huge shortage of oxygen concentrators and other such health and medical supplies in the country.
These relatively small, portable devices will help individuals to get more oxygen while they are struggling to breathe, and can be a lifeline for people with COVID-19.
Looking to help, Khalsa Aid put out a call for donations of oxygen concentrators, worth about £200 each.
They expected to receive a total of 150 but have already got 100 and are expecting to reach 300 in the next couple of days.
“It’s not the generosity that surprises me – I’m always amazed by the generosity, but I know the community is generous. It’s the speed that is really surprising,” said Ravi.
“We’re getting this very sophisticated equipment in 24, 48 hours.”
Khalsa Aid is ready to ship the concentrators out on Saturday, to be received by its team in India, which has a registration list of sick people already waiting.
Most of the units will end up in Delhi, where the effects of the pandemic are worst.
The team will have to guard the machines carefully as they are highly sought after and at risk of theft.
The charity is also offering aid in other ways – for example it will be helping provide firewood, used for cremations.
“So many people are dying, they’re running out of wood,” said Ravi.
The charity is also continuing its global work ‘nonstop’, including food drops for refugees, supporting stranded international students and providing water pumps in rural Africa.
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