The second wave of coronavirus cases in India is causing unimaginable suffering. With roughly 300,000 infections being reported daily, India’s health system is crumbling. India is home to the largest Tibetan refugee community in the world. Tibetan settlements, schools and monastic institutes are highly concentrated yet defenseless communities that are especially vulnerable to the virus.
At this difficult time, we applaud the phenomenal courage of our Tibetan health workers in the settlements, youth volunteers and civil society groups who are serving the ill at great risk to themselves. The Central Tibetan Administration’s COVID 19 Task Force Coordinator has called for support and actions from individuals and organisations to overcome this mounting challenge.
Over the past week, I’ve been getting calls and messages from friends and supporters around the world sharing concern and willingness to help. Being on the ground in India and discussing with many health workers, civil society groups, local leaders and SFT members, we realised that one thing that our community most urgently needs right now is a ‘BASIC COVID FAMILY TOOLKIT’ for every family with a positive covid case.
As cases of infections increase in the refugee settlements, we need to create a self-help care system at home and educate people on how to take care of isolated patients at home. Right now most of Covid patients are quarantined at home. Our healthcare system in the settlements, which is extremely modest to begin with, is about to be overwhelmed. For example, a settlement of a couple of few thousand people has about five nurses and often no doctor. It is almost impossible for health workers to take care of all patients as their numbers skyrocket. Many of these refugee communities are in rural areas with no proper health care systems, and some need to travel a couple of hours by car to get to a hospital. A COVID-19 HOME TOOLKIT will provide much needed support to the family to monitor the patient's health with greater confidence, and to help them know if and when to move to the hospital before the patient’s oxygen levels deteriorate too severely. Through this campaign we are not only providing these equipment to the families but also empowering them by educating our communities on best practices to protect themselves. Most importantly it will provide much needed relief to families in this time of uncertainty.
COVID-19 HOME TOOLKIT ($48 Per Toolkit)
Pulse Oximeter: Device used to quickly and easily monitor a person's oxygen saturation. $20
Digital Thermometer: for checking fever regularly, since fever is a key Covid symptom $3
Face masks & Face shields $15
Disposable isolation gowns $10
In the first phase of this campaign, our target is to get 1000 Covid Toolkits to the most vulnerable members in the Tibetan refugee community. We need $48,000 to make it happen. These toolkits will be distributed to the most vulnerable members of the community through SFT India volunteers and local groups and civil society organizations on the ground. We all know the situation is critical right now but the worst may be yet to come. In the coming weeks and months we need to prepare our families and communities. Your generous donation will make a critical difference to this life and death situation in India, and it will also amplify the local efforts to save lives.
100% of all the funds raised by SFT will go directly to the COVID-19 relief work in India.
Rinzin Choedon, National Director, Students for a Free Tibet-India.
Dorjee Tseten, Executive Director, Students for a Free Tibet-International & SFT Community.
This project is supported by International Tibet Network
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