Sewa International Releases $10,000 for Coronavirus Prevention and Relief Efforts
Houston, TX (March 15, 2020) – To strengthen its coronavirus prevention and relief efforts, Sewa International has released $10,000 to run its helpline and coronavirus awareness campaign.
“A team of 20 physicians is helping Sewa in providing free advice through Sewa coronavirus helpline. Over 400 volunteers in 20 major cities in the country are working tirelessly to put up a formidable community response at this difficult time,” Swadesh Katoch, Sewa’s Vice President for Disaster Relief, said.
“Local businesses and medical professionals are offering their services to the community most times pro bono through Sewa International. Sewa volunteers are providing multiple services including offering and delivering free food, and help for the elderly in grocery shopping, doctor’s visits, etc., and help to those who are faced with travel and visa issues. We are also offering family therapist calls for helping parents deal with children, anxiety, and stress,” Swadesh Katoch added.
“Sewa is also helping people with COVID-19 like symptoms to meet with doctors. In a few cases our Family Services volunteers are working with friends and family of the patients who are in self-quarantine or being tested for COVID-19. Sewa is running a daily Facebook Live campaign to spread awareness about preventing the infection,” said Swadesh Katoch.
Working with Indian Consulate
Sewa teams from various chapters across the country are working with Indian Consulates to help families obtain visas to travel to India in emergency situations. Sewa is also publishing FAQs on the Sewa website – www.sewausa.org -- to answer questions about visa and travel restrictions,” Sewa’s Director for Disaster Relief, Achalesh Amar said.
“Sewa has created a task force to handle various economic and social issues that may arise due to this pandemic. As many schools in the US are temporarily closed, parents from the under-privileged neighborhoods are being asked by the school administration to visit schools to collect their children’s food stamps. We are working on finding out how to help in such situations,” Achalesh Amar said. “Sewa Disaster Relief Team is also planning to conduct webinars to spread awareness on how to prevent the infection. We are also publishing videos from qualified physicians on the subject,” he said.
Indian Foreign Students affected by University Closures
“There are over 250,000 students from India studying in US universities. More than 300 US Universities have closed including some who have moved instructions to a virtual mode, and even shut their dorms. Sewa has fielded calls from Indian foreign students from such universities who are finding it difficult to cope up emotionally, health wise, and financially,” said Prof. Sree Sreenath, President of Sewa International, who himself is an academic at a major research university in the state of Ohio. “We even had a couple of concerned parents call us from India,” he said.
Sewa Helpline Numbers
Sewa’s coronavirus helpline numbers are the following:
About Sewa International
Sewa International, a leading Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster recovery (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. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, including a grant of $400,000 from the Houston Mayor’s Fund, and a $500,000 grant from the American Red Cross. Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and greenhouses, which serve as a means of livelihood. Sewa has also provided case management to affected families more than two years after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas. 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 – one of the handful 11 in the international category among over 23,000.
Sewa InternationalP.O. Box 820867, Houston, Texas 77282-0867
Tax ID: 20-0638718
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Sewa International is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non profit organization registered in Georgia.
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