Vital Voices’ Statement on COVID-19 In India

May 2021 – Our hearts go out to all affected by the shocking and worsening COVID-19 crisis impacting India. We know that for every story we hear of someone impacted by the mounting death toll, increasing positive cases and deep emotional pain the pandemic is causing in the country there are thousands more, and we are sending our strength, love and support to those serving on the front lines and strengthening the backbones of their communities.


At Vital Voices, we’ve had the honor of working with countless women leaders across India who are deeply committed to pushing for progress, fighting for human rights, building systems for justice and advancing their communities. We know that the global community stands on the shoulders of their work, and call us all to do our part in lending support to the Indian community in their time of need.


For ways you can help India in the COVID-19 Crisis, you can support some of the organizations providing aid on the ground or contribute to a few of the causes led by leaders in the Vital Voices Network:

Vital Voices Network Members on the frontlines:

  • ElsaMaria D’Silva’s Red Dot Foundation is raising money to provide the Dhanbad region with oxygen concentrators.
  • Sunitha Krishnan’s Prajwala is providing educational support for children orphaned by COVID, offering a COVID care facility for those infected among trafficked victims and providing transit care for children whose parents are hospitalized due to COVID.
  • Sonal Kapoor’s Protsahan India Foundation is on the frontlines responding to children in crisis and those orphaned by COVID-19.
  • Lalitha Shedigar Achyutha Nayak’s Society for Participatory Integrated Development (SPID) is mobilizing, providing groceries, soap, sanitizer, masks and other necessary items to trafficked women in the brothels of Delhi, advocating for impacted communities and much more.
  • Dr. Rashmi Tiwary’s Aahan Foundation supports tribal communities in the Jharkhand areas in India. They’ve distributed sanitary pads to more than 10,000 women and girls, provided mobiles and laptop facilities in villages to help girls continue studies, run awareness programs and distributed masks and soap to more than 70 villages. They are now trying to provide medicine and oxygen in villages hit by COVID.
  • Apra Kuchal’s We Care is distributing free masks and food trays and working to support her community in Jaipur- Rajasthan.
  • Shaili Chopra, as the founder of SheThePeople, is making every effort to help her business stay afloat, offer help to employees, colleagues and comfort to their families.
  • Kirthi Jayakumar’s Saahas is providing support for survivors of gender-based violence while living under lockdown.
  • Sohini Chakraborty’s Kolkata Sanved is providing psycho-social support, including mental health services for overall health and wellbeing, COVID-19 awareness campaigns and COVID relief in West Bengal and Maharastra.
  • Chaitali Das’s Rakshak Foundation is providing meals to COVID patients’ families, conducting a vaccine drive in coordination with a Government department, coordinating with hospital assistance, and bringing oxygen to patients’ homes.
  • Sheeba Sen’s organization, Alaap People’s Foundation is in the process of setting up a COVID relief fund for families in the Himalayas to help them with basic support, such as cremation services or food security packages, after losing an earning member of the family to COVID.
  • Smita Mankad’s Creative Dignity is a coalition of organizations and individual volunteers committed to meeting the needs of the craft industry in India and empowering artisans.
  • Rupal Kulkarni’s organisation Shram Sarathi is engaged in COVID-19 response work in rural areas.


Organizations and Initiatives:

  • Mission Oxygen: This campaign is raising funds for oxygen cylinders and concentrators in hospitals undergoing an oxygen shortage.
  • Apne Aap: This campaign is raising money to distribute 1 million meals to the Apne Aap women in the red light areas of Kolkata, Forbesganj, Bihar and Delhi, who are hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of exposure, limited resources and more.
  • GlobalGiving’s India COVID-19 relief fund will provide support for frontline workers, fund PPE equipment and much more.