North Texas Indian Communities Pool Resources as Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on Friends, Family

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The situation in India has been called catastrophic. The coronavirus is sweeping the country, pushing hospital and healthcare workers to the brink. The U.S. is in the process of sending aid in the form of vaccines and PPE. Meanwhile, Indian Americans in North Texas are holding out hope for friends and family back home.

It’s a critical time for Shadnam Modgil as her platform is desperately needed. As a radio host in Dallas, her listeners depend on her to have her hand on the pulse of what’s happening in India. On Monday, India set another record for new coronavirus infections for the fifth day in a row with more than 350,000 cases. Its total number of confirmed cases is more than 17 million and climbing.

“It’s a very, very grim situation coming out of India and every day getting worse,” she said.

Modgil is connected to dozens of Indian families in North Texas. She said almost every single person within the local Indian community is directly impacted. The country reported some 117 people dying to coronavirus every hour.

“It’s hitting home to everybody right now,” said Modgil. “Every single person that you will talk to has somehow got a family member and extended family a friend or someone they know that is suffering.”

That’s where local organizations are stepping in. Shailesh Shah is president of the India Association of North Texas. His organization and others are fundraising and collecting items to send to India. Most nights he’s up until 2 a.m. checking on his family.

“It’s hard right now,” said Shah. “I’ve been calling almost every day using the zoom call or the Whatsapp call just to make sure how they’re doing.”

The United States will send vaccines, medical equipment and PPE to India to help combat India’s surge. Oxygen supply is nearly depleted and hospital beds are nearly full.

“You name it, they need help right now,” said Shah.

Both Modgil and Shah say the hardest part is not being able to travel home. So, they do what they can, solicit help and hope for the best outcome possible for those they love.

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