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Michigan State students raise money for COVID-19 relief in India

Posted at 3:01 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 17:22:51-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — As COVID-19 cases surge to crisis levels in India, two Michigan State University students are raising money to send aid to their home country.

“All our friends and family in India have loved ones who are COVID positive right now,” said MSU graduate student Manasi Mishra. “It’s just very overwhelming.”

India has reported more than 20 million cases of COVID-19, trailing only the U.S. Nearly 3,500 people died there in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to over 222,000, according to data from the Indian Health Ministry.

“Every single day I would get news of someone else testing positive with COVID,” said MSU graduate student Darshana Devarajan. “Many of my family members got it, but they got out of it. A lot of people don’t have the kind of resources that my family is a little privileged to have.”

The duo launched a GoFundMe Monday night. They first shared it with a small group of fellow Indian graduate students who then shared it with their social networks.

By Wednesday afternoon, the fundraiser had reached enough MSU faculty, staff, undergraduates and alumni to pass its initial $15,000 goal.

The money will go to three humanitarian organizations that are supplying oxygen cylinders and ambulance rides, both scarce resources right now.

But Devarajan and Mishra won’t stop there.

“We do plan on increasing the amount to $50,000,” said Devarajan.

Mishra says the outpouring of support has been heartwarming.

“We really feel that because people here in the US have gone through this just a few months ago, everyone now knows what it feels like to have a family member or close loved one or even themselves be COVID positive and how stressful and scary that is,” she said. “It’s been amazing to see how people have come together.”

More information on GoFundMe can be found here.

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