Coronavirus (COVID-19)Development Dialogue

Diaspora Connect to Bihar: Helping Hands From Across the Borders in Times of Crisis

Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions in the economy, leading to loss of tens of thousands of lives and livelihoods of a large proportion of people in Bihar. Poor and the marginalised people are the worst affected. In this difficult time Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) belonging to Bihar have been sending relief material to help in fighting the pandemic. Relief has also come for those who have lost their near and dear ones or livelihood due to Covid.

One such commendable work has been done by Dubai-based NRI Ravi Chand. At the peak of the second wave of Covid crisis when the entire country was grappling with the shortage of oxygen gas, medicine and other medical equipment, Chand sent oxygen concentrator, oxygen flow meters, pulse oximeters, high-quality face masks, PPE kits, surgical caps, sanitisers, multivitamins and other materials used in treatment and prevention from Covid-19.

Chand, an International Higher Education Leader, has been extending the helping hands through an organisation Chand is the director of

These relief materials have been distributed with consent and association of several district administrations and urban local bodies. The districts, where relief materials have been distributed include, Bhojpur, Buxar, Rohtas, Gopalganj and Nalanda. The relief materials were distributed through the local chapter of Indian Red Cross Society.

In a conversation with Gyanendra Kumar Keshri, Editor & CEO, BiharConnect, Chand said he had been coordinating with several other NRIs to provide livelihood support to people in Bihar.  

“What is important here is to come forward and continue in whatever ways to contribute in this time of pandemic. Right now the need of the hour is to help the people,” said Chand.  

He said several people from Bihar who are living outside India have joined hands to extend support in this time of crisis.

“One thing we don’t do is we don’t blame the government. We don’t blame the system,” said Chand adding genuinely passionate people from across the world have been roped in to extend their help in this time of crisis.

When asked about his experience of dealing with bureaucracy in implementing the relief work, Chand said: “It has been positive. Several bureaucrats have appreciated our efforts.” He said Bhojpur District Magistrate Roshan Kushwaha appreciated the work of NRIs and took personal interest in getting the materials distributed among the genuine beneficiaries.

“In these troubled times of Covid pandemic, Dubai-based NRI Ravi Chand and other NRIs associated with the organisation have sent masks, sanitisers, caps, PPE kits, multivitamins and oximeters through the Red Cross Society, Ara Chapter. The dedication of the NRIs, who are attached to their native soil, is commendable,” Bhojpur DM Kushwaha said in a statement. Chand said the attitude of other bureaucrats have also been very positive.

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