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'Very Traumatic Experience': Driven By Loss, Sacramento Group Sends Supplies To India As COVID Surges

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - It may be on the other side of the world, but the crisis in India hits home. That's why the Indian Association of Sacramento is working with several organizations to send medical supplies to the COVID-stricken country.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India has surged, reaching more than 400,000 in a single day.  There's concern over not enough PPE or oxygen tanks to help all the patients as hospitals get overwhelmed.

"You know, there are so many, so many. My very close friends have lost their families in India and the worst thing is they can't visit them," said Ranju Verma, Secretary Indian Association of Sacramento.

"It's a very painful process," said Dr. Bhavin Parikh, a trustee with the Indian Association of Sacramento. "Unfortunately her oxygen saturation started dropping at home, so we were very worried."

Dr. Parikh just lost his sister to COVID-19. Yogini Sunil Shah was the strong backbone of the family, active and with no underlying medical conditions.

"As a physician. I treat a lot of patients but when you have your own loved one getting affected, it's a very traumatic experience. A very painful experience," said Dr. Parikh.

It's those stories that prompted the Indian Association of Sacramento to take action.

"I really want to help. Whatever I can do for my country," said Vandna Sharma, Vice President of the Indian Association Of Sacramento.

The non-profit raised more than $20,000 in a week to send oxygen tanks and supplies to India.

"Right now we are focusing on oxygen concentrators. There is a shortage of oxygen," said Bhaskar Vemparti, president of the Indian Association of Sacramento.

"You can compare the situation to what happened in New York City," said Venu Acharya, board member of the Indian Association of Sacramento.

"India is suffering very badly with COVID," said Jay Shrivastava, lead charity organizer with the Indian Association of Sacramento.

Military cargo jets left Travis Air Force Base headed to India this week filled with oxygen tanks, N-95 masks and rapid test kits. Now, this community effort steps up, driven by loss.

"That's the motivation that I'm helping our team to raise money to support our fellow Indians during this major crisis," said Dr. Parikh.

Donors can send their contributions to Indian Association in the following ways:

  • PayPal to
  • You can also send a check to: Indian Association of Sacramento; 599 Broken Top Ct. Folsom, CA 95630
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