Harrogate couple Kate and Paul Banerjee have launched an appeal to buy oxygen equipment for covid patients in India with breathing difficulties.
Money raised will go to the British Asian Trust, a charity founded by the Prince Charles and British Asian business leaders in 2007 to tackle poverty and injustice in the poorest parts of Asia.
The trust is working with the Swasth Foundation in India, a non-profit healthcare provider, to source medical equipment that is in desperately short supply in the covid-hit country.
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The couple set an £8,300 fundraising target — enough to buy 10 oxygen concentrators.
Since it launched on Monday, the appeal has so far generated £4,995, which is about 60% of the target.
Ms Banerjee said:
“It all started because I know that there’s a lot of people who want to help but don’t know how to do it in a way that will get the money to the people that need it.
“We raised over £10 a minute in the first five hours — it shows the big heart that Harrogate has.”
The couple are not resting on their laurels: they plan to print leaflets and go door-to-door in the next week to raise awareness.
Ms Banerjee said:
“The fundraiser is open-ended. If we reach the target, we’ll see if we can increase it and keep moving. They haven’t reached the peak yet in India and I’m afraid things are going to get worse before they get better.”
The daily number of covid cases of covid in India approached 400,000 this week, amid widespread reports of oxygen shortages.
The oxygen concentrators which the appeal will provide extract oxygen from the air, and are therefore independent of oxygen supplies.