By: Ira Rishi, SFU Student
The impacts of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic have been deeply felt by India. Every day is a battle as the pandemic grows incessantly. As the rest of the world is also facing the misery unleashed by the ongoing pandemic, this is a battle that will have lasting economic impacts beyond just India. The world can no longer be negligent of the COVID-19 crisis being faced by India.
Regardless of race, gender, religion, caste, and wealth, India’s rampant COVID-19 crisis has spared no one. It has been amplified by factors such as a reduced fear of the virus, lack of sufficient resources to deal with the surplus of cases, and a sheer lack of leadership. In this time of need, we need more people to care about the devastating events in India — especially considering its historical and ongoing relations with countries like the United States and China. India has done its part and now needs aid from its allies.
India is responsible for contributing around 4–8% of the world’s economic growth. Not only has the Indian economy been impacted, but the crisis has also had effects on the global economy, as well. India is also responsible for contributing to the vaccine development for COVID-19, and the current crisis has halted the export and manufacturing of the vaccines. India also holds up the economies of other countries by providing staff for back-office services, hence another indirect impact on the global economy.
However, we shouldn’t only care about India’s COVID-19 crisis because of its significant contributions to the global economy. At this point, the situation has escalated beyond a health crisis; it is a humanitarian crisis now. The health care systems are overburdened and exhausted, there is a severe shortage of oxygen and spaces in hospitals, and there isn’t even enough room for people to rest in peace.
Most Indians have come together to look after each other, circulating requests for oxygen, plasma or beds. Despite being exhausted of its resources, India continues to fight this battle with vigour. People are coming together to fend off the atrocities caused by this crisis and are looking out for each other.
India’s reality today is not short of something being ripped from the pages of history. This is no longer something from which the world can turn away. It is more than just a crisis. We all need to come together and do our part to defeat this pandemic. This is a privilege check for those who can afford the resources to reduce their exposure to the virus, as many people don’t have the same luxury. This is a reality check for the rest of the world that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and it is wreaking havoc upon many countries, people, and lives.
Some relief funds looking for donations include The Canadian Red Cross, Khalsa Aid, ImpactGuru, CARE, Ketto, and OxygenForIndia. The Vancouver India Cultural Association has also set up a GoFundMe fundraiser.