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.
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, the press release said.