The first major batch of oxygen concentrators has left Atlanta by air to Delhi. Thanks to UPS Foundation’s generous collaboration with Sewa International, the shipment of 2,184 Nuvo oxygen-concentrators, manufactured by Birmingham, Alabama-based Nidek Medical Products, Inc., is being shipped free of cost to New Delhi, as India struggles with the severe second wave of COVID-19 that has led to an acute shortage of oxygen, ventilators, and hospital beds across the country.
While the shipment from Atlanta to Delhi is going via UPS, Air India will be distributing the consignment to seven metros in India, also without cost to Sewa International. From these seven metros the oxygen-concentrators will be transported by road to 21 cities. “In the midst of this health crisis in India, we are absolutely thrilled to have the support of so many organizations and people in enabling this quick shipment of oxygen-concentrators to India,” said Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International, who had flown from Houston to be with the Sewa Atlanta team as they readied to send the medical equipment to India.
Romaine Seguin, President Global Freight Forwarding at UPS, said, “Our Heart goes out to the people of India during these tough times and our prayers are with them. It is our pleasure to lend a helping hand in this shipment of much needed medical equipment,” Kiran Manchikanti, VP, UPS Information Technology, said. “Being an Indian and being able to make a difference makes me proud to support Indian people at this moment.” Philippe Gilbert, UPS President, Supply Chain Solutions, reiterated that his team is with the people of India and are willing to help alleviate the pain.
Sewa started the ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19‘ campaign on April 23, 2021 to ship oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals. Sewa initially planned to raise $500,000. But responding to the rapidly evolving needs on the ground, Sewa increased the fundraising target to $1 million, $5 million, and $10 million in the subsequent three days. “This is generosity and commitment of people, not just Indian Americans but all Americans, to help India in this hour of need,” said Swadesh Katoch, Sewa International’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery, who has been working from Atlanta to ensure that the equipment reaches India fast. Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), advising Sewa International, said that the 100,000 strong physician group of Indian Origin is proud to support the people of India during these tough times.