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COVID-19 fight: Ethnic groups from New England pledge to donate $1 million to India

The New England Asian American Coalition (NEAAC), in a statement, said it pledged to raise USD 1 million to support two non-governmental organisations --Sewa International USA and Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation -- in tackling the pandemic.

May 31, 2021 / 07:57 AM IST

A coalition of various Asian-American groups, including Indian and Chinese, on Sunday announced to have pledged USD 1 million towards COVID-19 assistance in India.

The New England Asian American Coalition (NEAAC), in a statement, said it pledged to raise USD 1 million to support two non-governmental organisations --Sewa International USA and Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation -- in tackling the pandemic.

Asian-Americans are coming together and standing with fellow Asian-Americans to help with this humanitarian crisis, said George He from the New England Chinese American Alliance.

While the current focus of the coalition is to provide relief from the health crisis, its long-term objective is to lay the foundation for a collective group of Asian-Americans who can provide support for any need that gets the attention of New Englanders, a media release said.

When there is suffering anywhere, in the US or elsewhere, Asian-Americans are always at the forefront of providing support. Together, we can amplify our impact, Satish Jha, who initiated the coalition, said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Raju Datla, a volunteer at Sewa, said, The challenge in the urban areas has brought support from many NGOs. Sewa International shipped more than 7,250 oxygen concentrators, 250 ventilators and disbursed USD 6 million in grants to various partner organisations working on the ground in India.

Ranjani Saigal, executive director, Ekal Vidyalaya foundation of USA said the challenge in rural India is even greater without viable access to healthcare.

With a focus on Rural India, Ekal Vidyalaya has sent over 10,000 medical devices and medical kits to the villages, she said.



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PTI
first published: May 31, 2021 07:58 am
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