Midwest Indian-Americans form task force for COVID-19

India’s new Consul General in Chicago Amit Kumar poses for a photo. (Photo courtesy Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, media manager for Indian American Task Force on COVID-19)

Numerous Indian-American leaders and activists in the Midwest United States, have come together to form the Indian American Task Force on Covid-19.

Newly appointed Consul General of India in Chicago, Amit Kumar, joined the interaction at the inaugural conference call convened under the aegis of National Council of Asian Indian Associations [NCAIA] led by Harish Kolasani on April 7, 2020 in Chicago, a press release from the Task Force Media Manager Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, said.

More than 50 Midwest leaders of community organization met online through Zoom, to extend a warm welcome to the new Consul General.

Participants appraised Consul General Kumar on the broad range of  efforts undertaken by them in the Midwestern to mobilize resources, provide critical medical supplies where needed, provide personal protective equipment, guide those in need through the procedures availing government loans/grants, provide accommodations to the displaced students from India, and caring for the most vulnerable senior citizens among other activities such as delivering food and medicines, the press release said.

“This collective partnership between the prominent community leaders of major organizations and Consul General Amit Kumar clearly created a huge synergy enabling a large-scale mobilization of medical help, counsel, aid, guidance to those affected by the pandemic outbreak,” organizers said, adding that since the Task Force fanned across the communities, it had the potential for unleashing huge reservoirs of resources in the fields of medicine, business, legal affairs, women’s issues, and immigration, among others. not only impacting the lives of the Indian American community, but also the spectrum of the mainstream communities.

Consul General Amit Kumar praised the initiatives, efforts and contributions made by the members of the Indian Task Force and their organizations in helping local authorities and communities in their fight against the pandemic, and added he would be an active partner with the community in this mission.

Consul General Kumar also briefed members about the steps taken by the Embassy and Consulates to assist Indians. He assured that the Consulate will continue to work with all concerned in addressing the evolving situation. He also advised those in the meeting, to closely follow Consulate’s website and social media platforms for updates / advisories and to contact Consulate’s help-lines in case of any emergency.

Kolasani, president of NCAIA in his statement said, “Never in the history there was such a large convergence of community of leaders coming together in such unprecedented unity to rally in solidarity in fighting this explosive pandemic in our communities in America,” adding that it is “a shining testament” to the extraordinary human spirit of the Indian Americans. Kolasani outlined how the pandemic outbreak motivated the creation of the task force with immediate-past Consul General Sudhakar Dalela who lent help and guidance .

Currently, the NCAIA is working hard on creating a Helpline and a dedicated Website, Kolasani said.

Among those who participated in the conference call  include Dr. Bharat Barai of Indiana, Dr. Suresh Reddy of AAPI, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy of Illinois State Medical Board, Dr. Anuja Gupta of WE group, Dr. Vemuri Murthy, Chicago Medical Society, Dr. Paul Nguyen, SCARF Helpline, Dr. Niranjana Shah, IMA,  Malini Vaidyanathan, Air-India, Amit Jhingran, SBI, Harish Bhatt, Pharma National Org, Iftekhar Shareef, Sunil Shah and Gurmeet Singh of FIA,  Keerthi Kumar Ravoori of IABC, Chandini Duvuri, Dr. Raju Chintala of Indiana, Dr. Harjinder Khaira,  Asha Oroskar, Nirav Patel, Krishna Bansal, Hema Reddy Rachmale of Michigan, Nimish Jani Schaumburg Township Trustee, Rita/Sanjeev Singh, Vinesh Virani of AOL, Anu Malhotra of Meditation group,  Kalpesh Joshi of AAHOA, Ratna/Girish Kapur, Satish Nanjappa of St. Louis, Nayan Mehta of BAPS, Rajinder Singh Mago of Asian Coalition, Parmesh Reddy of ATA, Ashok Kolla of TANA, Purnima Nath of Milwaukee, Hemant Brahmbhatt of Hi India, Suresh Bodiwala of Asian Media USA, Uma Katiki, Ram Saini, Rakesh Malhotra, Bhargavi Nattem, Dinakar Karumuri & Sundar Dittakavi of CAA,  Rajiv Sharma of Reliance Global, Deepa Salem of Chinmaya Mission,  Sanjay Pandey, Venkat G, TAGC, Usha Pariti of Balaji Temple, Dr. Sriram Sonty of SAPNA, Gladson Varghese, Usha Bhaskar US Kids for Water, Kishen Kavikondala, Jay Sehgal of IOWA, Vidya Joshi, Aparna Ayyalraju, TTA, Hina Trivedi of Lions Club, Nagesh of SwadeshMedia, Shabir Patel, Haribhai Patel of Senior Citizens Ctr, Roger Chawla, Daftaris, Ajeet Singh, Santosh Kumar of MAFS, Pradeep Kandimalla, Ulka Nagarkar, Hanumanth Reddy of ATA, Herald Figuerdo, Muthuswamy Selvaraj, Laddi Singh, Roopa Karri, Ramakrishna K, Himanshu Pathak from President of Iowa Indian Assn and others. Two officers of the Indian Consulate providing guidance, are in the group and include Consul Ranjit Singh and Consul P.K.Misra.





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