In 2020, AIF quickly pivoted to address the critical situation in India and the United States. In India, AIF leveraged its programs’ infrastructure on health, education, and livelihoods via its wide network to address the needs of the nation with ventilators, PPE, and other interventions in order to save the lives of vulnerable Indians from COVID-19. Read the report here.

In 2021, India recorded the world’s highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections on April 22nd, as this second wave sent many more into a fragile health care system, critically short of hospital beds and oxygen. Working with our partners, hospitals, and governments, AIF has launched a three-pronged Phase 2 Emergency Response Strategy to address this crisis. Here is an overview.

The American India Foundation is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth. AIF does this through high impact interventions in education, health, and livelihoods, because poverty is multidimensional. AIF’s unique value proposition is its broad engagement between communities, civil society, and expertise, thereby building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. With offices in New York and California, twelve chapters across the U.S., and India operations headquartered in Delhi NCR, AIF has impacted 6.7 million lives across 26 states of India.

Mobile Learning – A Library that is Shaping Children’s Lives in COVID

With social distancing norms and a lockdown in India, schools are closed and students have been unable to continue with their regular learning. AIF’s Circle of Hope (CoH) team in New England has been keeping their members updated on the impact that the pandemic has had in India. Recently, the team allocated $5000 to fund a mobile learning library to support a primary, long-standing objective of AIF’s education programming: ensuring the continuity of learning among students.

AIF’s CoH members form a giving circle of women in the USA who pool their resources to help underprivileged women and girls in India. They recently connected with Dr. Swati Jha, Director of the Learning and Migration Program (LAMP), and Rowena Kay Mascarenhas, Director of Communications and Advocacy to learn more about the project’s implementation and progress. The mobile library project is a library on wheels (quite literally—think bicycles and motorcycles) to give children access to reading, writing, and most importantly, igniting their imagination.

Asha Patel, a new AIF CoH member, remarked how she loved seeing the local youths engaging and strengthening their own villages. Manisha Eckton, a New England AIF CoH member applauded the efforts of the AIF LAMP team for quickly coming up with an idea of a mobile library to ensure children are engaged with learning during COVID. “I was so touched by the efforts and care that is provided to these children during these difficult times,” she said. I loved the “mobile library” and quick implementation of it to keep children engaged and learning. It made me so proud to be a member of the AIF Circle of Hope and to participate in a small way to make a difference.”

The library has around 3000 books traveling from house to house in 30 villages in Kalahandi, Odisha. It caters to the student population who is unable to have any other means of education as COVID resulted in school closures. Youth volunteers are introducing children to these books and organizing activities for them in very small groups.

To read more about the mobile library project, click here, and to support AIF’s work by perhaps sponsoring our next library, please consider making a donation to our COVID-19 Fund https://aif.org/donate/covid-19-response/.

 

COH member Dr. Madhavi Reddy writes a poem in response to AIF’s LAMP program.  The painting in the poem is “Lady With Books” by Neena Buxani

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