Church donates over $4 million in aid to help embattled India manage pandemic

The Church announced on Monday, May 17, its efforts partnering with fellow humanitarian organizations to help bring a measure of COVID-19 relief to India, where an ongoing wave of the virus has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

A Church donation worth $4.15 million is being used to procure oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other medical equipment. The donated items are being used throughout the Asian nation to help ease the heavy load being felt by frontline healthcare workers, patients and displaced migrant workers, according to an India Newsroom report.

“Our hearts reach out to all those who are suffering and to the frontline medical workers who are dedicating their lives to fight this battle with everyone,” said Elder John Gutty, an Area Seventy. “We hope the Church’s contribution can provide some relief to them during this critical time.”

The Church is partnering with Project Hope, CARE, ADRA and Catholic Relief Services to help distribute the donation in India.

Church-donated food kits were distributed to migrant workers in Vidarbha in central India.
Church-donated food kits were distributed to migrant workers in Vidarbha in central India. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church also collaborated with the ministry of health in New Delhi and the health department in the state of Telangana for the same effort. All parties are working together to send the needed supplies directly to hospitals in heavily impacted states such as New Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka, Newsroom reported.

Elder Gutty emphasized the importance of working with global and local partners or civic authorities to overcome the delivery challenges and controlled orders during pandemic-prompted lockdowns in some regions of the country.

In the northern part of the city of Vidarbha in the state of Maharashtra in central India, Church-donated food kits were also distributed to migrant workers impacted by the lack of work due to the lockdown in Maharashtra. The partnership between the Indian Society of the Church and the National Council of Churches in India also included a hospital bed donation in Bengaluru. 

More contributions will continue in the coming weeks, Newsroom reported.

“As we lend our hearts and hands to answer the temporal needs for those who suffered, we pray that this assistance can also bring some emotional comfort to them,” Elder Gutty said.

India is home to approximately 14,500 members, four stakes and two missions. Last December, the Church broke ground for the Bengaluru India Temple, which will be the first Latter-day Saint temple in the world’s second most populous nation.