At a time when much of the world has asserted great control over containing the spread of the coronavirus, with countries increasingly vaccinating its citizens, a different story is playing out in India, the world’s second-most populous nation.
For a week straight, India has reported more than 300,000 daily new infections, about half of all the cases across the globe, despite cutting down on testing in some states and underreporting deaths.
Hospitals have ran out of beds for new patients, and doctors are consistently pleading on social media, often tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for essential medical supplies such as oxygen.
With several major industries, including film and sports, going about their lives pretending there is no crisis, entrepreneurs and startups have emerged as a rare beam of hope in recent days, springing to action to help the nation navigate its darkest hours.
It’s a refreshing change from last year, when thousands of Indian startups themselves were struggling to survive. And while some startups are still severely disrupted, offering a helping hand to the nation has become the priority for most.
Hundreds of startup entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, if not more, are spending much of their time trying to build software to find ways to make it easier for people to track new updates and make donations to foundations, and are exploring and funding ideas that have the potential to address some of the challenges surrounding the crisis.
Two organizations rising to the occasion include:
ACT Grants, which is run by nearly all active venture funds and PE firms, in addition to dozens of other volunteers. The initiative is the collective group’s continuing effort from last year.
Zomato Feeding India: India’s largest food delivery startup is helping patients and hospitals with oxygen and other crucial supplies.
Additional resources and efforts: