The pictures are haunting. The stories are heartbreaking. The reality is unimaginable.
India’s current Covid crisis is the nightmare we’ve been dreading for over a year: total healthcare collapse. It’s the scenario health experts have used to justify lockdowns, masking, and social distancing. And yet, most of us live where this harrowing reality darted by us, a near miss that left us wondering if it could really happen.
Which is why India’s situation seems surreal.
For many in our CCS Global Tech family, the situation is all too real. One of our largest offices is in Noida, India, an hour south of New Delhi. Team members throughout the company have family and friends in India who are in the middle of this hell. Their fear and anxiety for their loved ones is amplified by the stress and frustration of trying to help from thousands of miles away.
Theirs isn’t a unique situation. Between India, Brazil, and other countries where Covid is surging, there are millions of families in this predicament. However, for our company, the disaster in India is extremely personal.
CCS Global Tech’s CEO and founder, Raminder Singh, is doing something about it. The result is not only aid to India, but also a new community outreach collaboration with UNITED SIKHS.
From local grassroots to international powerhouse
Any time there’s a humanitarian crisis, the question of effective aid organizations comes up: Which organization(s) truly make an impact? Are donations really helping those in need?
UNITED SIKHS checks both these boxes.
Founded in 1999, UNITED SIKHS started as a grassroots organization designed to support the socio-economic development of immigrant communities in Queens, NY. It’s now a UN-affiliated international NGO that provides humanitarian relief, education, human development, and advocacy services to disadvantaged and minority communities around the world.
Headquartered in New York City, the organization has offices in Canada, England, Belgium, Ireland, France, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Malaysia, and Australia.
The organization has three focus areas:
- Sikh Aid (Humanitarian Aid): Provides non-partisan global humanitarian relief services that provide immediate aid and long-term rehabilitation.
- International Human & Civil Rights Advocacy (IHCRA): Works to advance economic, social, and spiritual empowerment for minorities and other marginalized groups.
- Community Empowerment Education (CEED): Designed to empower individuals via education programs that address critical needs of minority youth and adults.
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, their Sikh Aid program has been at full throttle. Through Covid-specific initiatives, their volunteers have supported testing and contact tracing efforts as well as supplying food, hygiene products, and medicines to those in need during lockdowns.
Although they continue their work in other areas of the world, their primary focus right now is India.
Boots on the ground
The challenge with any humanitarian effort is how to optimize effectiveness and help the most people. India’s size and diverse culture makes this goal particularly daunting.
Unlike many of the better-known humanitarian organizations, UNITED SIKHS is already part of the Indian fabric. Their chapter office in Punjab affords them working knowledge of India’s systems, cultural norms, and daily ebb and flow. They’ve used their boots-on-the-ground, insider acumen to develop processes and protocols that make them highly responsive and exceedingly effective at getting aid where it needs to go.
May’s second Covid surge put their knowledge, skills, and fortitude to the test.
UNITED SIKHS volunteers are covering all the big-ticket aid relief areas during India’s second surge. They’re procuring and delivering oxygen concentrators, ventilators, oxygen tanks multiple areas in New Delhi as well as surrounding areas. They’re collecting bodies and giving them respectful cremations. They’re finding space for and building treatment areas.
“No whining. No finger-pointing or blame-games. No chest-thumping either. They just get down to helping others. Quietly, efficiently, selflessly.”
How CCS Global Tech fits in
CCS Global Tech has a policy of giving back to the community. We focus our efforts on alleviating poverty, improving education and healthcare, fostering skills development, boosting community welfare, and helping underprivileged children.
The situation in India trumps all these issues. The goal is simply to help in whatever way possible.
Collaborating with UNITED SIKHS allows us to participate in relief efforts productively. CEO Raminder Singh says:
“We are so blessed. It’s imperative we help others, especially during this crisis. United Sikhs has connections and processes in place that make it possible to get help to the people who need it right now.”
To date, CCS Global Tech has contributed $35,000 for the purchase of much-needed oxygen concentrators. These machines are light, portable, and make it possible for volunteers to help victims at home or in treatment areas outside hospitals. Mr. Singh is also facilitating more connections in India to help United Sikhs expand their reach.
Work is in process to make UNITED SIKHS an official social impact partner so we can continue to support them going forward.
The Covid pandemic keeps demonstrating how connected we are regardless of our ethnicity, location, and beliefs. It helps us all to support those in dire need.
United Sikhs is doing the work. Please help them by contributing to their fundraising efforts: