Foundation steps up to help India during COVID-19

While an increase in COVID-19 vaccine access has allowed the U.S. to gradually begin reopening, this is unfortunately not the case for other nations. India, specifically, is a country that has had an extremely difficult time rehabilitating from the pandemic. According to The Washington Post, India reported 414,188 new cases and 3,980 COVID-19 related deaths in just one day, a 24-hour global record from the start of the pandemic.   

With a great deal of their population in extreme poverty, many people in India lack access to proper resources and healthcare. Sundara is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide such resources. Since their inception in 2013, they have focused their efforts on improving the hygiene of Indian women living in poverty by collecting soap from larger hotels. Over the past few years, outside donors and organizers have come together, expanding Sundara into the organization it is today. 

A main objective of Sundara has been supporting and funding the initiatives of female entrepreneurs from developing countries. Since the pandemic though, their goals have shifted. Much of their recent work involves helping people in India with the difficulties of the pandemic, including vaccine access and proper hygiene. 

In an exclusive Hi’s Eye interview, Lauren Lewis, Program Associate for Sundara, said, “The breadwinners in their families have passed away, which is leaving many families without that person who funds the food, and many people have lost their jobs.” 

According to CNBC, India houses the largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute. Despite producing 100 million doses each month within the Serum Institute alone, India hasn’t been able to adequately vaccinate individuals. As of Hi’s Eye deadline, CNBC reported that only 30 million people in India have received a vaccination, a mere two percent of the country’s population. 

Lewis said, “If you live in a slum it becomes very difficult [to get a vaccine] because money is so scarce. You may have lost your job, and just don’t have an income. Physically getting there would be difficult.” Sundara is directly addressing this problem by funding vans to transport people to PCR tests and vaccination appointments. 

Another way Sundara is tackling this issue is through a fundraiser, which is linked on Lewis said, “In the villages and in the slums, they don’t have access to vaccines, they don’t have access to testing. If we hit $50,000 [in donations], we are going to put a vaccination center [in India].” 

Lewis emphasized that any donation, no matter how small, would make an impact during such a tragic time in India.


Sundara website

Sundara GoFundMe

Unicef Fundraiser