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  • 9 May 2021 10:31 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (May 10, 2021) – Sewa International has spent more than six million dollars in the last two weeks to procure lifesaving equipment such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, BiPap, and CPAP machines as part of its ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ Campaign.

    Sewa shipped 260 Inogen oxygen concentrators, 1,000 oximeters, and nine BiPap machines from New York on Friday, May 7. UPS Foundation partnered with Sewa International to ship them to New Delhi by air for free. MedShare, a non-profit organization that sources and delivers surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need, donated the concentrators.

    So far, Sewa has spent over $3.5 million to order 7,482 oxygen concentrators and procured 5,118 of them from various vendors in the US and elsewhere.  Sewa has shipped 2,844 of them and 2,084 of them have reached India. They are being distributed to government hospitals and COVID-19 care centers and hospitals run by Sewa’s partner organizations.

    Sewa is planning to ship over 6,000 additional oxygen concentrators to India in the next two weeks. “Shipping large quantities of medical equipment to another country from the US has a lot of logistical challenges. We are optimizing our shipments so that they reach India fast,” Sewa’s President Arun Kankani said. 

    “Sewa has also procured 250 ventilators and other emergency equipment valued at $2.5 million. We have established a control room in Atlanta, and it is managed by ten Sewa volunteers. They are constantly researching the availability of medical equipment, vendor credentials, price, and other details to purchase them or find donors who can donate them to us,” Kankani said.

    “We have received phenomenal support from across the US for our ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19 campaign’. Many corporates, hospitals, and community organizations are calling us to offer help. Sewa volunteers are working hard to connect the dots. We thank all those who have given help and continue to offer support to Sewa in this time of crisis,” Arun Kankani said. 

     

    Help Has Reached 19 States

    “Oxygen concentrators distributed by Sewa have reached 19 states in India so far -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh,” Sewa’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery Swadesh Katoch said. “It’s very important to save every life and I am confident that the equipment we have sent to India will ease the shortage of emergency equipment and help COVID-19 patients recover and enable families to protect their loved ones,” he said.   

    Sewa started its campaign to aid India on April 23 amid an alarming rise in the daily number of new COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Sewa has raised $16 million for this initiative so far including $7.7 million from over 104,000 donors from its Facebook campaign and $4.2 million through its website http://www.sewausa.org.

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. 

  • 5 May 2021 4:04 AM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (May 4, 2021) – Sewa International has reached the 101,000-donor mark and raised over $7 million from its ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ Facebook campaign within 10 days of launching the campaign, indicating massive support from Americans to help India in its hour of need.

    Started with a modest goal of $500,000 on April 25 as India started seeing a drastic increase in the number of cases reported daily, Sewa’s Facebook campaign has grown in strength. Based on rapidly changing needs on the ground, Sewa moved the campaign’s fundraising target thrice, to $1 million, $5 million, and then to $10 million dollars, responding both to the felt need for medical equipment in India, and the emotional commitment of donors to alleviating the suffering of millions.   

    “It is heartening to see Americans generously donating to help India face the challenge posed by the COVID-19 second wave. I am deeply moved by the love and warmth thousands of Americans have shown to India through their donations. People are urging others to donate showing Americans are standing solidly with India at this moment,” Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International said.

    Oxygen Concentrators Reach India

    Sewa International representatives received 1,148 oxygen concentrators on May 4, 2021, and 318 of them on May 3, 2021. Sewa International’s partner organization, Sewa United Kingdom has also sent another 50 oxygen concentrators.  Sewa International volunteers transported all of them to their warehouse in Delhi for distribution to cities and hospitals across the country.

    The Sewa India team has also received 139 oxygen concentrators from the United Arab Emirates. “Sewa teams from many different countries are working with their local communities to raise funds to help India in the current COVID-19 crisis,” Arun Kankani said.  

    “We are receiving a lot of requests for ventilators, and right now, 256 co-ventilators are in transit to Atlanta, GA. We are placing orders for 150 ventilators with Philips in India, and Philips is donating another fifty. We are procuring another fifty in the US soon,” Srikanth Gundavarapu, who is leading the Sewa Procurement Team, said.

    “Sewa has procured 1,688 oxygen concentrators in the US in addition to the 2,584 we have already sent to India. Our procurement team is acting fast to obtain more of these machines. We are seeing an increasing demand for many lifesaving equipment, and we are placing orders for 140 Bi PAP machines soon,” Srikanth Gundavarapu said. 

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.

     


  • 29 Apr 2021 10:58 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (April 29, 2021) – The first major batch of oxygen concentrators has left Atlanta by air to Delhi. Thanks to UPS Foundation’s generous collaboration with Sewa International, the shipment of 2,184 Nuvo oxygen-concentrators, manufactured by Birmingham, Alabama-based Nidek Medical Products, Inc., is being shipped free of cost to New Delhi, as India struggles with the severe second wave of COVID-19 that has led to an acute shortage of oxygen, ventilators, and hospital beds across the country.

    While the shipment from Atlanta to Delhi is going via UPS, Air India will be distributing the consignment to seven metros in India, also without cost to Sewa. From these seven metros the oxygen-concentrators will be transported by road to 21 cities. “In the midst of this health crisis in India, we are absolutely thrilled to have the support of so many organizations and people in enabling this quick shipment of oxygen-concentrators to India,” said Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International, who had flown from Houston to be with the Sewa Atlanta team as they readied to send the medical equipment to India. 

    Romaine Seguin, President Global Freight Forwarding at UPS, said, “Our Heart goes out to the people of India during these tough times and our prayers are with them. It is our pleasure to lend a helping hand in this shipment of much needed medical equipment”. Kiran Manchikanti, VP, UPS Information Technology, said “Being an Indian and being able to make a difference makes me proud to support Indian people at this moment.” Philippe Gilbert, UPS President, Supply Chain Solutions, reiterated that his team is with the people of India and are willing to help alleviate the pain.

     

    Sewa started the ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ campaign on April 23, 2021 to ship oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals. Sewa initially planned to raise $500,000. But responding to the rapidly evolving needs on the ground, Sewa increased the fundraising target to $1 million, $5 million, and $10 million in the subsequent three days. “This is generosity and commitment of Americans, not just Indian Americans, to help India in this hour of need,” said Swadesh Katoch, Sewa International’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery, who has been working from Atlanta to ensure that the equipment reaches India fast. Dr Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), advising Sewa International, said that the 100,000 strong physician group of Indian Origin is proud to support the people of India during these tough times.  

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.

     

  • 28 Apr 2021 4:50 AM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (April 26, 2021) – Sewa International, the Houston-based nonprofit organization that specializes in disaster recovery, education, and development, has ramped up their fundraising goal to $10 million to fight the COVID surge in India. It has volunteers working both in the US and in India, round the clock, coordinating the work of both raising funds and procuring medical equipment supplies, as well as getting the equipment and essential supplies to hospitals, institutions, and individuals in India. Sewa International is seeking the advice of a team of doctors in the US on procuring the appropriate medical equipment and supplies to be shipped to India.

    Gitesh Desai, President, Houston Chapter of Sewa International, appeared on ABC 13 News-Houston, and spoke with reporter Shern-Min Chow about the 400 oxygen-concentrators already shipped to India, and 2,184 more concentrators that were purchased today, and which are to be shipped shortly to India.

    Sandeep Khadkekar, Sewa’s Vice President for Marketing and Fund Development, responding to the overwhelming support for their Facebook fundraising campaign said, “We are deeply moved by the response we have received from all of you for our fundraiser. Sewa appreciates your willingness to donate for a cause that would save many lives in India. Our top priority is to procure and ship oxygen concentrators to India as soon as possible”.

    A severe second wave of COVID-19 has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system and caused an acute shortage of oxygen, ventilators, and hospital beds across the country. With the number of new cases crossing 300,000 daily and a steady rise in number of fatalities, now estimated to be around 195,000 Indian hospitals are under serious stress to accommodate new patients.

    “Sewa International has had a tremendous outpouring of support from individuals and organizations across the country, and the Facebook fundraising campaign has had such traction that Facebook is working with us to boost this campaign to ensure that Sewa International leverages the trust people have in us,” said Viswanath Koppaka, Director of Marketing, Sewa International. “We have about 60,000 donors who have supported our Facebook campaign, and it has been a challenge to keep them in the loop of all the work going on behind the scenes. But we also have energetic volunteers pitching in, working late into the night, to do all that needs to be done keeping people informed,” he said.   

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.

  • 25 Apr 2021 4:23 AM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (April 25, 2021) – Sewa International is sending an initial shipment of 400 oxygen concentrators and other emergency medical devices and supplies to India immediately and is working on procuring more from multiple suppliers around the world to ease oxygen shortage caused by the surging numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country.

    Sewa has started ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ campaign to ship oxygen concentrators to Indian hospitals. Sewa is also providing food and medicines to about 10,000 families and more than 1000 orphanages, and senior citizen centers across the country. Sewa is aiming to raise five million dollars for this effort.

    A second wave of COVID-19 has overwhelmed India’s healthcare system and caused an acute shortage of oxygen, ventilators, and hospital beds across the country. With the number of new cases crossing 300,000 daily and a steady rise in number of fatalities, Indian hospitals are under serious stress to accommodate new patients.

    “Sewa has already raised more than one million dollars to help India in its hour of need. We are getting a great response from thousands of donors and expressing a deep desire to help India overcome this crisis. We thank them for their generous and timely contribution,” said Arun Kankani, President of Sewa International.

    “We are working closely with many organizations in the US to raise funds for this effort. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has partnered with Sewa to fund 200 oxygen concentrators. I thank Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, the AAPI president and  all the AAPI members for their crucial aid”.

    “Naturally, in the current situation, many Americans are concerned about the safety of their extended families and friends living in India. Hundreds of volunteers from Sewa and our partnering organizations are working on the ground in India. Right now, our top priority is to quickly acquire oxygen concentrators and ship them to India as it can save lives. We are also helping a few hospitals to extend their capacity to treat more COVID-19 patients,” Arun Kankani said.

    “Sewa is building a Digital Helpdesk to provide critical information on ambulance services, hospital bed availability, and blood and medicinal supplies to people. We need not despair as India has many resources, but we can still help people win their fight against COVID-19,” said Swadesh Katoch, Sewa’s Vice President for Disaster Recovery.

    “As part of its ongoing COVID-19 relief work in the US, Sewa has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to conduct vaccination drives across the country. We are also distributing thousands of pounds of food in Houston and the San Francisco Bay area,” Swadesh said. 

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.                                                                                                                               

     

  • 28 Feb 2021 7:30 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 28, 2021): Sewa International raised over $60,000 for Uttarakhand relief efforts while its volunteers continue to serve the victims of the massive flash floods caused by the Glacier Burst on February 7. The floods have claimed 60 lives and affected more than 200 families so far.

    The search and rescue operations have continued but hopes of recovering people alive from the flooded sites are receding fast. Government officials of the Indian state announced recently that 136 of the missing people will be declared dead. The sudden surge of water in the rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga severely damaged 12 villages on their banks and washed away homes, temples, and animals within a span of a couple of hours.

    The first alert about the disaster came from Sewa’s volunteer Manvar Rawat’s live video from Tapovan, a village damaged by the floods. His video, shared within half-hour of the glacier burst, has been watched by more than 3.7 million people and most national and international media agencies have used the same video in their news coverage. 

    Sewa has been conducting many development projects for farmers, women, and children for the last few years in Chamoli District where the ruined villages are located. Currently, over 150 of its volunteers are on the ground serving meals to the needy, assisting rescue operations, arranging health checkups, and giving a helping hand to families that lost their loved ones and livelihood. 

    A community kitchen operated by Sewa is serving meals to about 300 people a day. Over 350 blankets and 300 grocery kits have been distributed so far and homestay/shelter has been arranged for the needy. Sewa volunteers are also conducting a survey in flood-affected villages to find out the needs of the people. 

    Rebuilding Plan

    Sewa volunteers have prepared a three-year relief and rebuilding plan with an estimated budget of over $300,000. This plan includes trauma counseling, environmental rehabilitation, and skill development. Commissioning a medical van, supporting community farming, and providing seed money to an estimated 300 people to start their business are part of the plan.

    Hundreds of trees were uprooted by the floods, and Sewa International wants to plant about 5,000 saplings and care for them until they grow and work as natural shields to prevent future avalanches and landslides. 

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, https://sewausa.org/, a leading Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad.

  • 24 Feb 2021 7:30 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 24, 2021): Sewa International distributed over 43,000 pounds of food and hundreds of gallons of drinking water on Saturday, February 20 to families affected by winter storm Uri in Houston. 

    Sewa is planning to distribute a truckload (43,000 pounds) of food every weekend for the next several months. These food drives are part of the COVID-19 and winter storm Uri relief efforts. “More than a million pounds of food will be distributed by the end of these drives,” said Nikhil Jain, Sewa’s Houston Chapter Coordinator. 

    Sewa partnered with Alief School District, International Management District, and Houston Assistance Ministry to conduct the food drive. Cars lined up two to three miles before the drive started at 9 AM.

    Sewa volunteers swung into action as they started receiving calls about burst pipes, flooding of homes, and lack of heating. With a plumber’s help they were immediately able to fix leaks in about 13 homes over the weekend. Sewa shared a list of more than 500 plumbers serving different areas of Houston with the community desperate for quick, skilled help.   

    A young couple with an eight-month pregnant wife, and an elderly couple did not have drinking water and electricity. Sewa volunteers were quick to respond and help. The elderly couple was provided a host family to ride out the storm. Another elderly woman living alone was one of the many that Sewa helped with either accommodation or food and water. In another instance, Sewa arranged for oxygen canisters for a 90-year-old man when his wife called for help. Volunteers also supplied dehumidifiers and fans as well as food, water, and other essentials. When it was not safe to drive, they found people in the neighborhood to supply water and food to needy families.

    Sewa volunteers began sharing critical information with the community a week ahead of the storm. “Most queries we received were about the right thing to do during the storm. We provided clear answers to these questions,” Nikhil Jain said.  

    Sewa is partnering with OneStar Foundation, the State Service Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for Texas since 2003, which administers the AmeriCorps program. Sewa is the only organization specialized in disaster management in the OneStar portfolio in Texas. Eighteen AmeriCorps volunteers are working with Sewa helping coordinate disaster relief efforts.  

    “This Arctic blast has shown us that natural disasters and crises can strike at any moment. We are ready to serve the distressed and the underserved in our communities, and we will continue to monitor the needs of our communities, and provide help,” said Nikhil Jain. 

     

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, https://sewausa.org/, a leading Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad.

  • 7 Feb 2021 7:00 PM | Funds (Administrator)

    Houston, TX (February 7, 2021): Congressman Ami Bera was the Chief Guest at the unveiling of Sewa International’s report, showcasing the $50 million impact the Hindu faith-based organization has had, partnering with more than 500 other Hindu American organizations since early March last year. The report, titled “Joining Hands: A Community Effort to Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was released at a virtual event on Saturday, February 6, 2021. “What a commendable effort, and what a fine example of bringing organizations together to serve the country during the pandemic,” said Congressman Bera, Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the longest-serving Indian American Member of the U.S. Congress.

    Representatives from national emergency and disaster management organizations took part in a roundtable discussion. They said that community and disaster relief organizations can join hands and leverage the help and expertise of the national organizations. Participating in the discussion were Gina Cross, the Acting Director of AmeriCorps NCCC, Dinusha Weerakkody, Emergency Management Specialist of FEMA, Carol Flores, Texas DCMP Grant Coordinator of NVOAD, and Damian Morales, Manager of Disaster Services, OneStar Foundation. Prof. Anurag Mairal, Adjunct Professor of Medicine and the Director, Global Outreach Programs at Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University, moderated the roundtable discussion.

    Commending Sewa International through a video message was Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who said that “Sewa International represents the best what America has to offer”. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city was “thankful for Sewa’s work and charitable contributions,” and that Sewa had over the past fifteen years grown from a small to a mid-size charity organization and been recognized by The Houston Chronicle as “one of the top 100 charitable organizations in Houston”.

    The Sewa International report identifies 125 of the more than 500 organizations that Sewa volunteers worked with across the country raising money, distributing food, face masks and other PPE, offering help to stranded international students and travelers, participating in food and PPE drives, offering hot meals to the hungry, and managing ten hotlines responding to calls for help from around the world. “We did not know what would be demanded of us in this pandemic situation. It was a first-time experience in dealing with the kind of medical/health disaster that has affected the whole world. We believe we have made a difference in our local communities, across our forty chapters, in 28 states, around the country,” said Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International, inaugurating the session.


    “Disbursing more than $2 million that were raised through direct donations and government and institutional grants, and distributing about $50 million worth of food, PPE, medical supplies, and groceries, serving more than 750,000 people in big cities and small towns, our 5,000 volunteers from 28 states have made a bold statement about selfless service,” said Syam Kosigi, Vice President, Organization, Sewa International. “

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad over the past decade.  

    For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit www.sewausa.org.

     

     

     

  • 22 Jul 2020 1:11 PM | Marketing Sewa (Administrator)

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    Fremont, CA (July 22, 2020): Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter organized a luncheon for 500 frontline workers from Kaiser Permanente in Fremont, CA on Wednesday, July 22 to thank them for their hard work and sacrifices in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Sewa’s young volunteers collected over $20,000 to fund the luncheon as part of their LEAD summer leadership program. They raised this amount by hosting online games, teaching AMC Math, and coaching middle schoolers for the Math Olympiad.

    “During these trying and unprecedented times, these amazing individuals from Kaiser Permanente have shown us the power of self-sacrifice for the sake of society and for those in need.  As a college student, I personally feel the anxiety that is growing across  society, but the frontline workers from Kaiser have demonstrated that any obstacle can be overcome if we all come together to support and help each other.  I am excited that Sewa has given me an opportunity to serve these wonderful people in this fashion today,” said Sewa youth volunteer Sarvesh Aiyagari.  

     “Sewa was very generous and kind to donate and help the community during this pandemic,” said Sheridan Loyd, Associate Medical Group Administrator at Kaiser, Fremont who thanked Sewa for the luncheon and commended  Sewa for  bringing some solace to the population gripped by fear and uncertainty.

    Students Get Into Action                                                     

    Sewa’s high school and college volunteers have taken part in many COVID-19 relief efforts in the Bay Area.  They have provided dinner to people at the Martinez Shelter for a week, donated baby food to a nursery in Concord, donated school supplies to children in Oroville and Concow, and donated masks and face shields to various hospitals and schools.  

    Prior to this event, the Bay Area chapter had donated more than 75,000 KN95 and N95 surgical masks and face shields to beneficiary institutes including the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and City of Cupertino, among others.  The Bay Area chapter has also played an instrumental role in helping stranded passengers and students.  

    Nationwide, Sewa has distributed over 650,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals, and donated over $100,0000 to food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis.  More than 3,000 volunteers across 43 chapters from 28 states have worked in collaboration with over 250 Indian American community organizations across the country to support frontline workers, families, and individuals in need. In addition, Sewa International has set up ten national helpline centers to field and monitor calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients. 

    For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19.  

     About Sewa International

    Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 25 disasters in the US and abroad. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, Sewa volunteers helped in the rescue of nearly 700 people, and have served thousands of affected families since then through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. Sewa International has also rendered relief in the wake of hurricane Maria in 2018 and Hurricane Imelda in 2019. Sewa teams in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to build and donate tiny homes for those rendered homeless in California Camp Fire of November 2018.

    Among its other accolades, Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator – the premier nonprofit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions.” Sewa has for the last three years continuously scored the topmost-rated 4-star from Charity Navigator, and has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency



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Sewa International
P.O. Box 820867, Houston, Texas 77282-0867
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 info@sewausa.org

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Sewa International is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non profit organization registered in Georgia.

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