Ground-up initiatives in Singapore to help India's Covid-19 surge gather momentum

Singaporean Dia Golani raised $43,000 and hopes to send 50 oxygen cylinders to a hospital in Ahmedabad.
Singaporean Dia Golani raised $43,000 and hopes to send 50 oxygen cylinders to a hospital in Ahmedabad.PHOTO: COURTESY OF MRS DIA GOLANI

SINGAPORE - When Mrs Dia Golani started raising funds last Saturday to send oxygen cylinders to India, she hoped to hit $6,000.

But in less than a week, the amount hit $43,000.

This week, she will be able to send 50 oxygen cylinders to a hospital in Ahmedabad.

The 34-year-old Singaporean, who works in a freight company, said reading about the tragedies in India cut close to home. "My mother-in-law's sister died last year from Covid-19 in Mumbai."

Hers is just one of several ground-up initiatives in Singapore to gather supplies or collect funds for India, which has seen over two million new coronavirus cases in the past week alone.

The Indus Entrepreneurs Singapore, a chapter of the largest global entrepreneur and investor foundation, launched Mission India last Thursday to raise US$1 million (S$1.33 million) by May 12 for medical supplies.

It collected more than $75,000 in less than a day.

Singaporean Elise Tan Yee Ling, 35, founder of Makan For Hope, an initiative that connects entrepreneurs and industry leaders to give back to society, hopes to play her part.

Participants who wish to join the Makan For Hope sessions pay US$20, of which 85 per cent will go to charities. For the month of May, they will donate full proceeds to the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) Covid-19 India relief.

SRC, which launched a public appeal last Wednesday, raised more than $500,000 in four days from its online and offline platforms and via Give.asia.

Within the Catholic community, Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives Singapore (Charis) hopes to raise $300,000 to provide monetary aid and supplies to India.

It will work with its sister organisation, Caritas India, to set up seven treatment centres offering basic medical services.

Charis will also be collaborating with SRC to procure and ship respiratory equipment into India.

Yesterday, India's Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar thanked Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan in a telephone call for Singapore's contribution of oxygen cylinders to India on April 28, and for the facilitation of the transfer of cryogenic tanks from Singapore to India.