A Tribute To Those We’ve Lost to COVID-19: Arjun, Abhilash, Jockim

While the world is aware of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India that has affected millions, we at AIF are grieving the loss of three of our own family too. Arjun, Abhilash, and Jockim were some of our brightest team members, and we are so grateful to have had them carry out AIF’s mission and vision.

Arjun Sarkar- Program Coordinator in Bhangrola, had been working with us for the last 2.5 years with the Amazon project. He effectively started, implemented and managed the project in Bhangrola near Gurgaon. He was known to be one of our most diligent and hardworking team members. His leadership incredibly benefited the project and the community it serves. His work was appreciated by all community stakeholders, including school teachers. He was a self-made man and whatever he achieved was all due to his own efforts despite the challenges he faced. He passed away on April 18, 2021, leaving behind his wife and two young kids (11 and 13).

Abhilash Sakhare- Cluster Coordinator in Pune for our Digital Equalizer program, lost his battle with COVID-19 on April 24, 2021. He was known to be one of our most hardworking and sincere cluster coordinators. His team loved him immensely. He has left behind his parents, wife who works with state transport, and an adorable two-year-old daughter.

Jockim Jacob- State Program Manager, DE Karnataka, had been working with us for almost three years. A very down to earth person, Jockim was known for his passion for service. He would always put others before him. He left us on April 30, 2021, after a weeklong battle with COVID-19. His wife who works as an Assistant Professor for Social Work and two little boys (5 and 2), survive him.

We all pray for their families to find strength to bear this irreparable loss. We have been in touch with them to provide them with any support we can. Arjun, Abhilash, and Jockim, like all of us in the development sector, were striving to build a better world. Their loss has broken our hearts, but strengthened our resolve to go back to work each day and help as many people as we can.

Written by Anshu Grover

Kanan Gole is the Marketing and Development Associate at the American India Foundation. She works with AIF teams across the United States and with the Marketing and Communications team in India, to incorporate stories of AIF programming and highlight events in email marketing and socials. She also is delving into the world of graphic design. Before AIF, Kanan worked for nonprofits in the field of education, gender equity, and public health in Haiti and India, in various capacities.

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