1--2-To India with Love--Mission Bengal

Information provided by Ratun Lahiri ('91) and Pankaj Mathur ('93)

Ratun Lahiri (IIT KGP, SN,1991) and a group of 3 other IITians (KGP) across the UK/US and the Founder-CEO of a promising Indian Start Up are leading a fundraiser to help India combat the deadly Covid second wave.

Last week, the venture fund associated with Ratun sent a consignment of 460 oxygen cylinders to a reputed NGO for deployment in the National Capital Region. It was a drop in the ocean but they humbly hoped it would benefit someone.

The group above is now determined to replicate the initiative in another part of India, a country sub continent in size.

West Bengal (home to India’s first and oldest IIT Kharagpur), is one of India’s 29 states with a population of 90.3 million (in contrast UK Population 66.7 million). The visuals from New Delhi have been acutely disturbing but India is equally hurting in other parts too. West Bengal is a border state and it is critical to contain the virus. The state has just exercised democratic franchise with vast political rallies. Infection rates are very high.

The team is in touch with the West Bengal Health Secretary and fellow IITian (IIT Kanpur), a senior civil servant appointed by the Government of India, who is responsible for the health of 90.3 million people. He has asked for the following to be deployed to government hospitals to save lives : HFNC (High Flow Nasal Cannula), Oxygen concentrators, Oxygen cylinders.

A note from Ratun: We wanted to do more. Realised that not many resources are flowing into West Bengal. Having interacted with the West Bengal Health Secretary 2 months ago, I reached out to him last week and asked what equipment would be most beneficial. He has given a specific list. This fund raiser is to address that specific need. No NGO involved. Just a direct transfer of equipment to the Health Secretary responsible for the health of 90.3 million who will disburse directly to government hospitals. Every bit helps. We have had generous single donations from individuals. We spent 4 years in KGP and this is for WB!