Natasha Dhanrajani leaped into action when she realized she could bring relief to COVID-19 patients in India. The Academy of the Holy Angels junior contacted three friends and established a GoFundMe page https://gofund.me/5ec36ddc to raise money for the purchase of oxygen concentrators.
Although this lifesaving project was just launched on April 25, Dhanrajani reported that her group is already close to making its first shipment.
“At night, it is a tradition for my family and me to watch Indian news for an hour before the 10 p.m. local news,” said Dhanrajani. “We noticed that COVID-19 was starting to face a resurgence in India, as the death toll was increasing rapidly and the daily infection rate started to surpass that of the United States. Soon enough, hospital beds were full, and scenes of long lines outside of these institutions surfaced throughout the news. In some cities, patients are being treated outside of the hospital buildings because there is not enough space.”
The Bardonia, New York, resident explained that patients with moderate symptoms are being turned away as India faces shortages of oxygen and emergency medical equipment. However, the same patients return a few days later, when their symptoms have become worse.
“Our goal is to buy as many oxygen concentrators as we can, so hospitals and medical professionals can give them to those with the moderate symptoms,” Dhanrajani explained.
The effort is being handled by Dhanrajani and three friends who reside in New Jersey and Texas.
“After I reached out to all of them and pitched my idea, no one hesitated to get started on this initiative immediately,” she added.
“I met Shreya and Anay two years ago at a wedding in Texas,” Dhanrajani said. “Anay has co-founded his own organization to provide disaster and humanitarian relief to those in need. Shreya organizes annual fundraisers with her music school for St. Jude's Children’s Hospital. I instantly knew that both of them could manage the GoFundMe page, and research the right supplies we need to purchase.”
Dhanrajani connected with her friend Tanya through an upcoming internship program.
“After speaking with Tanya, I learned that she has incredible communication and research skills, which are essential to connect with points-of-contact in India, as well as reaching out to shipment companies who can help us get the medical supplies to the desired destination.”
Relief is now in sight.