The global co-operative movement has stepped in to support Indian co-operatives and their members in their efforts to tackle Covid-19.
As daily Covid-19 deaths surged past 4,000 on 8 May, India is struggling to contain the outbreak. Indian co-operatives are making a difference with a range of initiatives aimed at supporting local communities.
The Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) is investing around ₹30 crore (£2.9m) in four oxygen plants to fill up the oxygen cylinders free of cost for hospitals in a move designed to address oxygen shortages. The plants are being built in Kalol (Gujarat), Aonla and Phulpur (Uttar Pradesh) and at Paradeep (Odisha). IFFCO Tokio, its insurance subsidiary, has also donated for 20 oxygen concentrators to local ambulances.
Meanwhile, the Uralungal Labor Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) helped to relocate and reinstall a 13 KL oxygen plant from the PK Steel Complex to meet the increased demand for medical oxygen. The plant was moved to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, which can accommodate 700 patients and has 120 ICU beds.
Likewise, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is providing support to co-operatives to plan and set up new hospitals or upgrade existing infrastructure. The National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) and the National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCFN) are working to support their members, using their own resources and raising funding for relief activities. And co-ops in the Kerala state have pledged Rs 200 crore (£19m) towards vaccination efforts in the region.
Similarly, the SEWA Cooperative Federation is fundraising to provide essential health kits to vulnerable women informal workers and their families, which include filter masks, soaps, hand sanitisers and Paracetamol.
Funds raised so far by SEWA will provide essential health supplies for 1,500 families. Co-operators in India can make donations online using this link:
Internationally, the movement has also been quick to act. The International Cooperative Alliance has set up the Cooperatives Combat COVID-19 fund to enable co-operators to support co-ops in India and Nepal – where Covid-19 infections have risen by 1200% in just a matter of weeks.
Donations can be made to:
Beneficiary: Alliance Coopérative Internationale
Bank Name: KBC Brussels
Branch Name: KBC Brussels Dailly
Bank Address: Place Dailly 3 – 1030 Brussels – Belgium
IBAN: BE28 7340 3825 7920
Important! Reference “Donation India” when sending the bank transfer
The ICA Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP) Regional Office, NCUI and NCFN will work together to channel your contributions to co-operatives and those working to support co-operatives and their members.
Those wishing to send oxygen concentrators, oximeters, PPE kits, medicines, and other supplies, please reach out to the ICA-AP ([email protected]), the NCUI ([email protected]) and the NCFN (Chitra Subba [email protected]).