Millennium Post

Indian-Americans set up helpline, volunteer groups to help community members hit by virus pandemic

Washington DC: Several eminent Indian-American groups in the US have set up helplines and deployed volunteers to help community members, including a large number of Indian students, hit by the Coronavirus crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 3,777 people and claimed 69 lives in the country. The country has stepped up efforts to contain the virus by placing travel restrictions, closing schools, restaurants and bars and cancelling entertainment events across the country.

Sewa International, a leading Indian-American non-profit organization, has released USD 10,000 to run its 24X7 helpline and Coronavirus awareness campaign through a team of 20 physicians.

It has also established various chapters across the country who are working with the Indian Embassy and consulates to help families obtain visas to travel to India in emergency situations.

There are over 250,000 students from India studying in US universities. More than 300 US Universities have closed including some who have moved instructions to a virtual mode, and even shut their dorms. Sewa has fielded calls from Indian foreign students from such universities who are finding it difficult to cope up emotionally, health wise and financially, said Professor Sree Sreenath, president of Sewa International.

We even had a couple of concerned parents call us from India, Sreenath said.

A team of 20 physicians is helping Sewa in providing free advice through Sewa Coronavirus helpline. Over 400 volunteers in 20 major cities in the country are working tirelessly, said Swadesh Katoch, Sewa's vice president for Disaster Relief.

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