Youngsters in Bengaluru raise over ₹40 lakh to help students affected by COVID-19

Classroom activity has been hugely disrupted over the last 15 months, but several students have used the time to help those in distress around them.

A network of high school and college-going students of Bengaluru have raised over ₹40 lakh in the last few months and served more than 11,000 people, including students and migrants, residing in slums and remote areas by donating rations, medical equipment and books.

The fundraising effort began through SPARK, a three-year-old student organisation, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Students resorted to crowdfunding and approached companies, alumni, and relatives for donations, said Akarsh Shroff, president, and Aakarshan Majumdar, vice-president of SPARK. Akarsh and Aakarshan are students.

Food kits containing essential items, such as rice, oil, dal, sugar, wheat flour and spices, were distributed to over 1,000 families residing in slums and migrants during the second wave.

“We worked with the government task force and provided medical equipment, such as oxygen concentrators, oximeters, beds, sanitisers, and other protective equipment to various PHCs, and district hospitals across Karnataka,” said Aakarshan.

SPARK core team members Sejal Agarwal, Indraneel Acharya, Praajna G. Baragur, Tanisha Anand Raaj, Archith Casheekar and Anumita Parvatikar provided medical aid to government healthcare facilities in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Ballari, Hubballi and Hassan districts. The students set up an isolation ward with 12 beds at the government general hospital in C.V. Raman Nagar in collaboration with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

They provided 10 tablets and two laptops to facilitate online classes, said Praajna Baragur, who passed Class 12 this year. A laptop given to an anganwadi centre at Gudenahalli in Nelamangala has helped about 200 students, he said.

“We have also given ₹1.80 lakh in scholarships to students belonging to poor families, which covered the school fees,” said Akarsh.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 4:03:57 PM |

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