As the Covid pandemic currently sweeps through India, the Rotary Club of Maidenhead is just one organisation trying to send urgent help, writes Rotarian Lyndsey Allen.
In 2012 the club began a relationship with Aarti Home and School in Kadapa, a quarry mining town in a rural area of Southern India. The Rotary Club was impressed by the tireless work of Aarti Home in rescuing babies, girls and young women from abuse and abandonment, simply due to their gender. Aarti gives these children a home, an education and opportunities to become independent, self-supporting adults, who are now proving to be valued members of society.
Throughout the pandemic, despite having little themselves, Aarti has worked to support the local community by making hygiene-awareness banners, sanitation packs, Covid patient kits, and assembling food parcels for the most disadvantaged families.
They have made two and three-ply masks for frontline workers, while also adhering to home-schooling and supporting children, who live with their parents, but have little food and no means of learning at home.
Maidenhead Rotary Club has been proud to support this charity, which has had an enormous impact upon the surrounding community but now, with the huge Covid wave devastating India, even more vital help is urgently needed.
Aarti, with its existing infrastructure and capabilities, is now also trying to find oxygen to save lives in the wider local area, where recorded cases have already exceeded 78,000.
Operation Oxygen Kadapa is an initiative that aims to bring Oxygen Concentrators and a Pressure Swing Absorption Plant to this hard-hit region. One hundred oxygen concentrators are currently due to be delivered and contracts for the PSA oxygen plant are being finalised, as a devastating third wave of the pandemic is, sadly, expected.
As we in Maidenhead are gradually emerging from our difficult year of Covid suffering, we are able to cautiously count our blessings. However, the alarming crisis in India is still unfolding.
It is sadly impossible to eradicate every global disaster, but when we have the means and the opportunity, we can do something to help others in great need. Due to our longstanding connection with the Aarti charity, the Rotary Club of Maidenhead is able to safely channel funds to support Operation Oxygen Kadapa, to save lives in India.
So far the club’s international committee has donated £500 with another £100 from the Theatreways project. More support from the club is expected to follow.