As many are of you are aware India is in the midst of a severe COVID crisis. The situation is rapidly deteriorating especially due to an acute shortage of breathing aids.
One of our own IITM alumni M.A.Siddique, IAS (BTech ’93), is the Principal Secretary and Special coordinator for Covid-19 Management for Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Siddique is at the forefront of this battle, and he reached out to several of us in the United States over the weekend, and provided specifics of the current situation in Chennai.
Chennai currently has 40,000 daily cases and is on the same curve where Bangalore was two weeks ago, implying Chennai would likely hit 200,000 daily cases in two weeks. The situation is dire and the biggest issue is Oxygen. As per the authorities, the impending loss of lives will be due to lack of medical resources, especially breathing aids (CPAP machines, Oxygen concentrators, Ventilators) which can help stabilize people in the initial hours of respiratory distress before they get more involved care or recover.
We, the alumni of IIT Madras, are blessed to have classmates leading companies such as Philips Healthcare, Medtronic, GE Healthcare that manufacture as well as distribute these devices. A small team of alumni, who are intimately aware of this ecosystem and supply chain, members of IITMAANA, IITM Foundation, and IITM OAR sprung to action over the weekend, and helped secure several hundreds of these high quality devices. We are now actively collaborating with the IIT Madras Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) to help facilitate the distribution of these breathing aids. This is great news - we have the ability to save lives with our actions.
To fund this, we have set up a special fund called "COVID-19 Relief for India" to secure these devices so that they can be immediately delivered and deployed via IIT Madras.
As a registered 501-c-3 non-Profit IITMAANA (EIN: 760035493) we are in a unique position to help in this cause. We are also working on matching commitments from entities in the US and in India so that every dollar donated by IITM alumni could have a possible matching of 2x, thus giving us the opportunity to raise a total of $3 million. Please consider making a donation as time is of essence.
We couldn't be prouder of our alumni making an impact in the academic and corporate worlds, and now with this, humanitarian impact to a city and a country in crisis. Thank you!