COVID-19 Relief Efforts for India
* WHEELS Global Foundation is a 501C(3) approved entity started by alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology, your donations are Tax Deductible in the USA. Our mission is to help scale philanthropy through the use of appropriate technologies. Our tag line is "Technology-Enabled Philanthropy". Our board members and a few others contribute to pay administrative costs to make sure all of your donations go directly to the concerned causes.
As you know, India is going through a major health crisis due to COVID-19 raging in several parts of the country. India has recorded the highest one-day tally of new COVID-19 cases and deaths anywhere in the world, with the National Capital Region of Delhi is the most drastically affected. There is an acute shortage of Oxygen in Delhi, with several hospitals running out of Oxygen. Hospitals are turning away patients and ambulances are waiting in lines for hours in front of hospitals. This dire situation is now spreading throughout rural India where more than 60% of the population resides!! In this dire need of healthcare essentials for the masses, PanIIT-USA and their chapters are joining hands with WHEELS Global Foundation to come up with a multi-pronged approach to help our fellow citizens in India. We are now emphasizing the old adage that "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure"! We are putting more effort into Telemedicine, raising awareness, distributing 'prophylactic kits' that include masks, gloves, oximeters. sanitizers, more testing, etc. If we can detect and treat a Covid victim in the first 6 to 10 days of the first appearance of Covid, we can drastically reduce the chances for that person to require oxygen treatment. Such early treatment can be something as simple as administering over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol/Paracetamol, Zinc, and Vitamin D. Here are the four options we are pursuing and the related cost for each. Your generous contributions will be applied for one of these options:
Sourcing and Supplying Oxygen Concentrators:
We initiated a drive to purchase 5L and 10L Oxygen concentrators for immediate use for those in dire need of such treatment. On May 12th, we shipped 434 units of 5L Oxygen Concentrators from DeVilbiss Co., a leading US manufacturer of medical equipment, to IIT Delhi who is serving not only those on campus but also the surrounding communities that are gravely affected by this pandemic. We see this as "short-term" and serves as urgent care requirements. With the massive worldwide demand for such concentrators to meet India's enormous demand, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source these products from reliable manufacturers or distributors. We also worked to ensure that the products comply with FDA standards and the devices will work satisfactorily in India's fluctuating power requirements for 220-240V/50-60Hz. The transportation and logistics for the "last mile" delivery of these machines to the intended parties in India are becoming difficult due to pilferage and other logistical challenges. Volunteer members of the WHEELS team have helped to facilitate the airlift of about 3000 Oxygen Concentrators from various organizations and continue to help others with transportation logistics. Typical 5L Oxygen Concentrators are costing between $500 to $750 landed in India.
Cash Support for Local Sourcing in India:
In view of some of the challenges cited above, we have chosen in some cases to make cash payments to our partners, such as AdharShila, in Delhi, India - an NGO started by alumni of IIT Delhi so that they can purchase and service these Oxygen Concentrators locally along with the disposable supplies needed for the apparatus. We are also working with several other charitable organizations that have approached us for similar cash donations for purchasing equipment in India. These organizations have been vetted by us to be run by reliable and known IIT alumni and who are also in compliance with prevailing rules and regulations. Some of these organizations, such as AdharShila are also assembling and distributing 'prophylactic kits' which include masks, gloves, sanitizers, OTC drugs like Paracetomal, oximeters, and thermometers. They also help to raise awareness and prevent spread among the many impoverished people in outlying areas. Please see the pictures we have posted on our Facebook page. We will be updating those as we hear from our beneficiaries. These kits cost about $30-50 ea.
Large Oxygen Generators for Hospital Use:
We are working with a couple of Rotary Clubs in Delhi and Chennai who will implement 100LPM Oxygen Generators to serve small-medium public health hospitals with 50-75 beds. These machines that are expected to be installed in the next few days, have Power Failure Alarms, Low-Pressure Alarms and rated to supply Oxygen at 93+/-3% purity. These machines are purpose-built and assembled on skids for rapid installations. These Oxygen generators are made in India with Korean technology and will also be serviced locally. We are recommending these as our top option for oxygen treatment as the impact is larger than individual units administered by one volunteer at a time. Also, these units would have a longer life in service and not be prone to pilferage, etc. Each Oxygen Generators cost in the $30,000 to $40,000 range depending on capacity.
We are partnering with EVOLKO, a Telemedicine platform that we have deployed at 20 locations in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP, and Gujarat and another 240 sites are about to start operations soon. We have pledged 400 such telemedicine systems for use in Uttar Pradesh and many more in Gujarat. A local donor in India has pledged $100,000 for supporting this endeavor. Many Doctors in the United States and in India have signed on to offer their services for free to Covid victims in India. Each Telemedicine operation costs $1000 for hardware, software, and training on AI-driven tools for speedy initial diagnosis & future diagnosis of diabetes, etc in rural India. AI Tool will handle 20 of India's main languages. We believe each operation can serve 50-70 patients a day and early intervention and treatment is the best way to prevent patients from getting to a stage where they require Oxygen. Telemedicine has become our primary platform for "Technology-enabled Philanthropy" that we can implement at scale and fairly rapidly.
Apart from the relief efforts made by WHEELS Global Foundation during this tough COVID-19 Pandemic, WHEELS has strived hard in implementing multiple projects. Some of them are as follows:
- Implementation of Intensive Care Units at Local Hospitals
Recently, we have received requests to urgently provision 'Intensive Care Units' at local hospitals. Such facilities are expected to cost upwards of $20,000 per bed! Also, ICU requires highly trained and skilled nursing care which is in severely short supply and hard to place in remote rural areas. Our solution is implementing Covid Isolation Centers (CIC). These 25-75 bed facilities can be set up in existing facilities like hotels, hostels, schools, colleges, and other government facilities with the basic requirements for early isolation and treatment of Covid patients. Each such CIC costs approximately $15,000 to $30,000 including, a few oxygen concentrators, and Telemedicine with training and equipment. WHEELS is now working in collaboration with EKAL to implement the first 10 such units in Gujarat, UP, and Bihar. EKAL has a presence in 130,000 villages - hence, the demand for such facilities is enormous but the cost per patient is also low with very high impact.
- Better utilization of Water Resources to overcome the shortage of Water
In addition to the above activities that are directly related to Covid, the WHEELS Water Council continues to make progress with the Government of Himachal Pradesh for a pilot program for better management of their water resources in anticipation of a severe water shortage this summer. Such a shortage of water would be devastating on top of the raging pandemic. We have set aside $30,000 for this endeavor.
In 2019, WHEELS had initiated a holistic project for rural development in a cluster of 7 villages in the Aravalli district of Gujarat. We have continued this activity with added emphasis on Telemedicine working in collaboration with the SEVAK organization as COVID has spread in that remote region. This program has both short-term funding requirements ($50,000) as well as longer-term projections in excess of $2 million. We are appealing for both individual donations and participation from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
Please donate generously and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Our many well-wishers, donors, and patrons have come forward most generously wanting to donate and to know how WHEELS Global Foundation can assist. Here are ways in which you can help and work with us:
If you wish to make a donation, you may do so at this page or you may also send your check to:
WHEELS Global Foundation
11654 Plaza America Drive, #615
Reston, VA 20190
We assure you that all donations and CSR contributions are applied responsibly for maximum and immediate impact and in compliance with all governing rules and regulations for not-for-profit organizations in the United States and in India. We strive to make sure that our activities are rooted in the application of technology for maximum scale and efficacy. We see every donor as a 'stakeholder' and is entitled to know how their money is being applied for the purpose that their donation was made. Please do not hesitate to email us at ([email protected] or [email protected]) or any of our colleagues on the WHEELS team if you have any questions or wish to get additional details on any of the above activities. Please also let us know if you wish to volunteer or help in other ways."
WHEELS Global Foundation