Michelin-star Chef Vikas Khanna has yet again proved his love for his country and countrymen by sending relief materials such as, Oxygen concentrators and PPE kits in the fight against the second wave of COVID-19. He has tied up with a US-based non-profit organisation, Vibha, to raise money for medical supplies especially for those stepping up to perform the last rituals of abandoned bodies, amid a spike in death cases due to coronavirus. Earlier in 2020 as well, he had stepped up to distribute meals and supplies to thousands of migrant workers across pandemic-hit India.
"Vibha and Vikas Khanna are stepping up during these challenging times with immediate deployment of over USD 600,000 for COVID relief efforts, working with 40 plus hospitals, healthcare facilities and trusted partner organisations in India," the organisation mentioned on its official website.
As of May 6, 2021, the organisation has disbursed USD 600,000 (approximately INR 4.4 crore) for COVID relief, procured 850 oxygen concentrators, and has distributed the first batch to Ambedkarnagar and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Srungavarapukota in Andhra Pradesh, Beed in Maharashtra, Beawar in Rajasthan, and, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Vibha has also partnered with Texas Instruments and the government of Karnataka to set up a 100-bed modular hospital in Bengaluru, and the procurement of medical supplies such as, PPE, masks, gloves etc., is in progress; not to mentions plans of opening vaccination clinics which are still underway.
In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper of the Full Circle at CNN, Khanna, who is currently based in The United States, said that in the first phase he has managed to send 650 oxygen concentrators, and 5,000 PPE kits to India and has a target of at least 50,000 PPE kits. Moreover, he also plans to work with Vibha, towards the opening of vaccination centres in India. Apart from Vibha, he also partnered with Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, Global Fund for Widows, Vector Global Logistics & Supply Chain, to find ways to support India in the current crisis.
Urging people to contribute more, he said on his Instagram, "Vibha is 100 per cent volunteer-driven with zero administrative cost for Covid relief. It used to upset me when I worked with so many foundations and so much money went to the organisation and not the cause. Vibha has been a part of THE LAST COLOR as their mission to support education in India for the last 30 years. Our COVID plan of getting oxygen concentrators and creating vaccination centres. Will keep you updated at every step."
In an earlier post, he had informed that he would be sharing recipes to help people staying alone at home during COVID, as a part of his #IndiaStrong initiative. "#IndiaStrong is an initiative that I created with our long-standing partners to support the current situation in India. I have put together recipes for all those that are staying at home to bring positive energy through food."