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Raising money for pandemic crisis in India

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India Gofundme

MADISON (WKOW) -- Travel restrictions between the US and India are in place.

Foreign nationals are not allowed in the US if they've been in India at any point over the last 14 days.

The country is now reportedly topping 20-million reported cases of COVID-19 and the actual number could be much higher.

About a quarter of all new cases have been recorded in just the past two weeks, and another 34-hundred people died of COVID-19 Tuesday.

In the Madison area, several who immigrated from India have banded together to do what they can to help provide support to their families and others.

"It was not images anymore for me, it was real people, there were names associated," Manika Agarwal said. "Every time I would call my mom or my extended family to see I would know that someone in the family passed away."

She and a group of fellow Indians living in the US have started a GoFundMe to get oxygen concentrators and send them back home.

It all started after Vikas Malik got a call from a friend in India at their wits' end.

"He said 'Vikas the situation in India is so bad. Please if you can help in any way from the US please do, we need oxygen concentrators specifically because there is a lack of oxygen," Malik said.

So far they've raised more than $10,000, purchased 7 of the devices, and are hoping to get 10 more Tuesday.

They're also planning on increasing their $50,000 goal to be able to coordinate with manufacturers and logistics companies here and get even more to the parts of the country that need it most.

"Not only money, if you want to donate to us used oxygen concentrators please reach out to us, we will make sure that it's working well," Malik said.

They hope that by getting the message out, not only will they get the funds and devices to help, but also volunteers to expand the effort.

"We want to convert this from just a mere fundraising exercise to some kind of moment so that people join us, provide their expertise," Sanjay Gupta, another member of the team, said. "So definitely to bring it to the next level we need more volunteers."

They have also made a website to go along with their gofundme to share updates, pictures of the devices and the people they'll be helping.

They'll even be shipping the first set off this week.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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