The non-profit organization, Indiaspora, announced the launch of an online initiative to raise funds for helping fight hunger among vulneratble populations in the United States and India.
The ChaloGive for COVID-19 online giving campaign has already raised $500,000 from leaders in the organization, according to a press release April 10, 2020, from the organization.
Organizers described it as a “grassroots” initiative through Indiaspora’s online giving platform ChaloGive.org. Contributions to ChaloGive.org will meet demand on the ground through beneficiary nonprofits Feeding America and Goonj in the United States and India, respectively, the organization announced.
Former Pepsi Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who serve on Feeding America’s Food Security Council and Board of Directors, respectively, have endorsed the fund drive, the press release said.
“We are facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19,” Indiaspora founder member Anand Rajaraman, a Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is quoted saying in the press release. He and his wife Kaushie Adiseshan are the lead donors for the campaign.
“The drastic measures necessary to control this pandemic have created special challenges for vulnerable sections of society across the world, particularly in India and the US,” Rajaraman said.
Noting the “outpouring of support” from the Indian diaspora during this pandemic, Indiaspora said one of the most pressing and urgent challenges facing both the U.S. and India right now is hunger. It estimates some 37 million in the U.S. face food insecurity and in India some 140 million migrant workers have been displaced.
“While all eyes are on frontline hospitals, millions in America and across the globe suffer silently from a growing and equally alarming epidemic of food insecurity as the COVID-19 crisis threatens to push already struggling families deeper into poverty,” said Sejal Hathi, an Indiaspora Board member and physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Now more than ever is the time for communities like Indiaspora’s to come together and rise to this call to feed people in need. I’m so proud to witness exactly this commitment to seva.”
“Given the increasingly global world we are living in, India and its diaspora are in a unique and powerful position to help each other,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, chairman of Axilor Ventures and a founder of IT services company Infosys, and also a founder member of Indiaspora.
“This crisis has made it even harder for those who were already struggling to survive,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures and a founder of IT services company Infosys, who is also an Indiaspora Founders Circle member. “Given the increasingly global world we are living in, India and its diaspora are in a unique and powerful position to help each other.”
Feeding America, which has been providing emergency food assistance to people facing hunger through its nationwide network of 200 food banks in America for more than 40 years, is responding to the new hunger crisis in the U.S. Every dollar to Feeding America secures 10 meals through the food bank network.
“The nation and our food bank network are facing challenges unlike anything we’ve seen in our organization’s history,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are truly grateful to Indiaspora for its support of Feeding America through the ChaloGive for COVID-19 campaign. During this time of uncertainty, the generous donations derived from this effort will help bring much-needed food and hope to countless families facing hunger across the U.S.”
In India, Goonj provides disaster relief, rehabilitation and community development with dignity. Through their Rahat Covid-19 initiative, given their already pan-India network and presence, Goonj has already initiated relief work of reaching food, dry ration and hygiene kits to displaced migrants in parts of fourteen states of India.
“Despite our extensive experience of working in disasters, the scale and still unfolding nature of this long-tailed disaster calls for massive resource mobilization for short-, mid- and long-term work,” said Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj and a Magsaysay Awardee. We are delighted to partner with Indiaspora on this campaign as an opportunity to engage the Indian-American community and our well wishers from across the world in supporting their fellow citizens in this difficult hour.”
Contributions given at ChaloGive.org will go directly toward these charities’ relief funds, and are fully tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.
An additional USD $100,000 donated online by April 15 will be matched by Indiaspora’s members; thus, donors who give through the platform will have the opportunity to have their impact doubled.