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Added on : 2021-05-11 11:05:20

Microblogging giant Twitter has donated $15 million (or approximately Rs 110 crores) to help address the COVID-19 crisis in India, which is battling the unprecedented second wave of the deadly pandemic. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Monday tweeted that the amount has been donated to three non-governmental organisations - Care, Aid India and Sewa International USA. While CARE has been given $10 million, Aid India and Sewa International USA have received USD 2.5 million each. "Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, non-profit service organisation. This grant will support the procurement of lifesaving equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines as part of Sewa International "s 'Help India Defeat COVID-19" campaign," the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

"Equipment will be distributed to government hospitals and COVID-19 care centres and hospitals," it said. Reacting to the announcement, Sewa International's vice president for Marketing and Fund Development, Sandeep Khadkekar, thanked Dorsey for his generous donation, saying it is gratifying that Sewa's work has been recognised. "We are a volunteer-driven non-profit organisation, and we believe in serving all, following the sacred Hindu benediction, "Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah" — "May all be happy"," Mr Khadkekar told PTI.

"Our administrative costs are about five per cent, meaning that every dollar a donor offers, we spend 95 cents of it on the work that it is earmarked for. In these past two weeks, we have seen how overwhelmed India's healthcare system is, and we want to do as much as we can to come to the aid of people who are deeply affected. Twitter "s generosity will go a long way in helping us do the work we want to do and that we need to do," he said. With this, Houston-headquartered Sewa USA has so far raised USD 17.5 million towards its India COVID-19 relief efforts. CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty. Twitter said the grant of USD 10 million will support CARE's urgent action to help address the deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections devastating India.

"Funds will be used to supplement government efforts by setting up temporary COVID-19 care centres; providing oxygen, PPE kits and other critically needed emergency supplies for frontline health workers; and addressing vaccine hesitancy and helping ensure that people get vaccinated, particularly in remote, marginalised communities in India," it said.

Association for India's Development (AID) is a volunteer movement promoting sustainable, equitable and just development. AID partners with grassroots organisations in India on interconnected areas of education, health, agriculture, livelihoods, environment, and human rights, Twitter said.

"This grant will help under-resourced communities identify COVID symptoms, prevent spread, access care and treatment, benefit from medical equipment including oxygen, oximeters, thermometers, protective gear and vaccination, survive lockdowns, regain livelihoods and will strengthen hospitals and NGOs that serve rural and low-income communities," Twitter added.

India has been severely affected by the unprecedented second wave of the coronavirus, and hospitals in several states are reeling under the shortage of health workers, vaccines, oxygen, drugs, and beds.

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