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South Asia COVID-19 Relief Fund

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Countries around the world are resorting to lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19. As you might already know, most major cities in Pakistan have been in lockdown since several days, India has gone into a nationwide lockdown and Bangladesh is expected to follow suit soon.

While lockdowns present problems in the entire world, these are especially pronounced in South Asia where there are so many people living in poverty. Those especially hardly hit at the moment are the tens of millions of daily-wagers in this part of the world. These are people who spend all of their small daily earnings on food to survive day-to-day. They have now been forced out of work, and will starve on a massive scale if not provided relief immediately.

As a result, charities across South Asia are mobilising to provide rations and other necessities to poor households during the lockdown. We felt that it was important for us to contribute at this time of crisis and so we have collaborated with Cambridge University Bangla Society , Cambridge University Hindu Cultural Society: CUHCS , Cambridge University India Society - CUIS and Cambridge PakSoc to set up a fundraiser for those struggling to survive in the lockdowns.

We have selected one charity in each of the three countries and will be collecting donations for their coronavirus relief efforts.

Bangladesh: Jaago Foundation

Jaago Foundation is working on a nationwide relief programme, using a data-driven approach to target the top 10 most affected areas in Bangladesh. Their response includes feeding children who would otherwise rely on school meals as their only meal of the day as well as delivering essential items to struggling families of day labourers, who have lost their income, in quarantined cities and to refugee camps. Your donation can greatly support this massive effort and have an impact all across Bangladesh. Let’s wake up (‘Jaago’) to the plight of the most unfortunate and donate!

India: Rapid Response
@rapidresponseindia on Instagram.

This trusted charity already has the experience of more than 20 disaster relief operations under their belt. In this crisis, they have already successfully delivered over 2000 kits across 5 states in India, and are planning to expand to a further 6 states. The efficiency rate of your donations is high; 92% of every pound donated goes directly to suffering daily-wagers on the ground, with the balance going towards transportation costs to reach them. Rapid Response are delivering 2 types of kits:
1) Food/Dry ration kit: 10 kg of rice, 2kg of dal, 2kg of salt, 2kg of sugar, 2 litres of cooking oil and biscuit packets.
2) Hygiene kit: Handwash liquid, soap with box, Dettol, phenol, bleaching powder, masks, handkerchiefs, awareness pamphlets.

The charity's existing network gives them a strong base on which to carry out relief efforts, and we urge you to donate.

Pakistan: Saylani Welfare Trust

One of the biggest charitable names in Pakistan, Saylani has given itself the ambitious goal of distributing 2 million ration bags to poor households during the lockdowns and are raising money for this effort. They have already started this distribution in most major cities of Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad. Their ration bags contain flour, rice, oil, milk powder, sugar, salt, daal and soap. Saylani is at the forefront of coronavirus relief efforts in Pakistan due to the scale of their operations, the efficiency of their distribution drives and their efforts to employ social distancing while distributing rations.

Your donations will go far!

On average just £7 can provide food to a family of 5 for around 10 days. Your donations will go a long way in ensuring the survival of these people through what is a nightmarish time for them. We urge you to donate as generously as you are able to.

If you wish to donate specifically to one country, please put the name of the country in the comment; if no country is specified, the donation will be shared equally between all the nations. Together we are stronger.

We have the privilege of staying at home with fully-stocked fridges and small complaints like being unable to go out for a meal, or the Internet running slow. For these daily wagers, lockdown means starvation and death. It's as simple as that. We have the power to change that; let's do something about it!

Stay home, stay safe and please remember those who are so much less fortunate than us.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


  • Anonymous
    • £20 
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team: The Cambridge Majlis (3)

Gaurav Kakkar
Dhruv Kaushik
Team member
Omar Kidwai
Team member

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