Chicago Girls Raise Money to Help Mothers In India Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic


Mira Bhatia and her team at AIF Circle of Hope Chicago plan to raise $5,000 to provide young mothers in the MANSI program essential relief to survive the pandemic.

This year would be the second Mother’s day celebration for the COH, Chicago mothers & daughters after its formation last year. The celebration this year would be quite unique yet very special. To honor this special day and as a gesture of gratitude to all the mothers in India and the world, COH, Chicago girls are starting a fundraiser called the Mother’s Relief Fund.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a kind of challenge to the whole world that is unparalleled to anything that we have faced yet, its anticipated impact in India is daunting and extremely worrisome, primarily due to the population density, harsh economic condition, and scarcity of necessary resources and basic infrastructure.

These basic problems that most of India faces amplify in regions like Uttarakhand which has the perpetual problem of accessibility due to its geographic conditions, high migrations within men, overburdened working women, and very weak support system in all aspects of life. Due to this, the Mother’s Relief Fund will primarily focus on families compromising of mothers in Uttarakhand, affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 100% of the donations will go towards food, supplies, and equipment and all costs of organizing this fundraiser will be covered by the personal contributions made by the daughters of the Circle of Hope, Chicago.

The plan is to raise $5,000 through the fundraising effort to contribute to the Mother’s Relief Fund. This will be COH, Chicago’s Mother’s Day gift to 400 young mothers in the Uttarakhand region to help them feed their families and survive the Covid-19 pandemic. To boost the morale of our COH Chicago girls in this dedicated attempt, an anonymous donor will match this effort with an additional $5,000. This generous contribution will sum up our funds to a whopping $10,000 towards a cause that involves hope and solace to a small group of mothers

Already struggling with various hardships of life, the lockdowns in India due to Covid-19 has inflicted upon these mothers loss of their basic livelihood leading to a struggle for sustainability. The funds collected through this fundraiser will go towards the Essential monthly supply kit for affected families and Preventive personal protective kit for frontline Asha and Anganwadi workers.

The availability of these essential items is extremely difficult and sometimes even close to impossible. Our contribution will go a long way to fill this supply gap. Our focus would be to fund the following three basic kit –

Essential Monthly Supply Kit -Costing merely $30, this kit will take care of the immediate needs of the struggling families. Enough for 4 to 6 family members, includes a month’s supply of hygiene-related items such as soap, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, in addition to basic food items like rice, lentils, oils, and spices.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kit – These kits for the frontline workers cost $25 and include items like goggles, masks, headcover, shoe cover, and a face shield, that are absolutely essential for them amidst this pandemic. Doctors and Healthcare workers (Nurses, Technicians, etc) in the hospitals treating Covid positive patients are exposed to heavy viral loads and are thus extremely susceptible to acquiring infection, often with fatal consequences. Our endeavor is to protect these Corona warriors by the provision of these PPE.
Preventive Personal Health Kit for ASHA – These also costs $25 and includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and thermometers. Our contribution would be facilitating the provision of these preventive kits to grass-root level frontline health workers (ASHAs, AWWs, ANMs) working in the community to spread awareness, identify, refer, and track potential cases. Thermal scanners will be used by these workers for initial screening of cases.

The kick-off date of the fundraiser is April 26th, 2020. As a gesture of gratitude, the COH Chicago girls have created beautiful pendants to be mailed to all who contribute. These are all handmade pendants and a lot of thought and effort has been put into making them. The circle design in the pendants symbolizes the Circle of Hope, which connects women in the United States with women in India.

Hand made pendants made by the COH Chicago Daughters

The program MANSI won the heart of COH, Chicago yet for another year in a row. The unique voting this year, due to Covid-19, followed the distancing guidelines to-the-T and was carried on via Zoom. Though unusual yet the experience was new and unique. We have managed to raise an impressive amount of $45,000 and have welcomed 19 families to our little circle.

Though our fundraiser is covering a very very small geography in India, if our effort can bring a smile and hope to each and every Covid-19 affected mother in that small area, it will symbolize the true essence of Mother’s Day for all of us at COH Chicago.

If you want to contribute to the smile of one mother and her family, please click below.

More Hope, More Smiles.

COH Chicago

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