Across India, a devastating second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks is ravaging the country, leaving millions infected, at least 200,000 dead (according to the official tally, though many estimate the true number is much higher), and an entire population struggling to gain access to basic essentials, including food and medical supplies. With less than two percent of India's population fully vaccinated, a vast majority of the country remains highly vulnerable. Hospitals and funeral homes are overwhelmed, and a variant is being blamed for new infections of fully vaccinated doctors, according to the New York Times.
The situation is heartbreakingly at odds with the current COVID conversations stateside, which are largely focused on reopening plans, the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that individuals can walk outdoors without masks, and even post-vaccination travel, given that nearly 30 percent of Americans are now fully vaccinated. It's a stark reminder of how disparate the impacts of the pandemic have been, and continue to be, around the world—and that as members of the global community, it's our responsibility to support the people and places we travel for when it matters most.
Below, we've rounded up organizations that are supporting Indians on the ground, with the aid of international donations. Each organization comes recommended by our network of travelers (from our editors, editors of international editions, and brands we love), so you can have faith your money will land where it should; just note that most groups are collecting donations through India's various crowdfunding sites (Ketto, Give India, and Milaap, for example), rather than directly on their own platforms.
Whatever savings you have earmarked for that future trip to India, consider this the time to dip into the pot and put your money to a much-needed use. Here's how to donate to India, now.