COVID-19: IIT Kharagpur raising funds to help the poor

COVID-19: IIT Kharagpur raising funds to help the poor
Source: Wikipedia Commons Team Careers360 | Apr 21, 2020 - 2:40 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) is raising funds for helping the poor people living in its neighbouring areas.

The IIT KGP Foundation USA has already raised USD 2,42,000, or approximately Rs 1.85 crore from more than 100 donors from the 1959 to 2017 batches.

The initiative is expected to benefit about 10,500 people.

An official statement says, “The alumni of IIT Kharagpur have come forward to support the needy people in and around the IIT Kharagpur campus for a period of 6 months.”

A fund will cater to people who have been financially affected due to the lockdown imposed to battle COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

“The short duration fund is exclusively meant for about 10,500 poor workers on campus and people coming from villages near the campus who are dependent on IIT Kharagpur for livelihood and are now out of job or no work due to lockdown,” the statement said.

The beneficiaries will include daily wagers working in different eateries and halls, ward boys, rickshaw pullers, workers in construction projects, etc.

Vinod Gupta, a distinguished alumnus of IIT Kharagpur from the batch of 1967 and a US-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, has pledged USD 1,00,000 to help the lowest strata of the society.

Gupta said, “In 1962, in my first year at IIT, it was a surreal experience for a 16-year-old kid from a village in U.P. When I got sick, the guy who took care of me was the ward boy in Patel Hall and his name was Papaya. It just shows how important they have been in our lives.”

Virendra K Tewari, director, IIT Kharagpur said, “I thank Vinod Gupta from the core of my heart to have taken the lead and created this fund to help people who are facing dire times.”

On April 20, the institute celebrated the initiative by distributing personal protective equipment, ration and toiletries to a small group of beneficiaries. Safety and precautionary measures like social distancing and hygiene protocols were followed while distributing these items.

Ranbir Gupta, President, IITKGP foundation in USA is running the fundraising campaign.

“The alumni community in the USA aims to raise about Rs. 8 crore for the cause,” said Vinod Gupta.

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