Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Atlanta groups raising funds to help India as deadly COVID-19 surge cripples country

"Every person who is living in America of Indian origin has a family or a friend whose been affected."

ATLANTA — India is battling a deadly second surge of COVID-19. As the country faces the overwhelming surge of cases and deaths, Atlanta’s Indian community is coming together to help.

Organizations are coordinating ways to help supply the country with essential resources to fight the virus, all while dealing with loss in their own families.

From nearly 8,000 miles away from her family, Vindali Vartak feels helpless. A few weeks ago, her aunt became one of the recent casualties in a COVID's resurgence in India. 

"It’s very stressful. I fear calling India right now, I do," confessed Vartak. 

In recent days, more than 350,000 new cases were reported in just 24 hours - setting a global record. 

While Vartak can’t be with her family in person, she is taking action from afar. 

Through Atlanta based non-profit, Vibha, she and other volunteers are raising money to help families in India with food, medicine kits, gloves and masks.

"Everybody is stepping in just knowing how great the situation is to collaborate and coordinate to provide what’s needed on the ground if you will in India," said Vartak.

RELATED: Coronavirus 'swallowing' people in India; crematoriums overwhelmed

Hospitals are over crowded, with crippling oxygen supply. It has forced patients outside hospital doors where some died while waiting.

Sewa International, Atlanta Chapter is answering the call to help. 

Since Thursday, the organization said its raised nearly $5 million for India’s COVID relief. Donors have come from abroad and the U.S. 

"Every person who is living in America of Indian origin has a family or a friend whose been affected," said Srikanth Gundavarapu. He is the president of the chapter. 

He also has been personally impacted by the virus with family members passing. 

The organization sent 400 oxygen concentrators to the country with more ready to go from inside a warehouse. 

Gundavarapu said the outpouring of love and support is unlike anything he's seen before. 

That support comes all the way from the top. President Biden is also pledging U.S. Support during India’s crisis with medical equipment, protective gear and COVID vaccine raw materials.

For ways to help from Atlanta, look to any of these organizations: