On Thursday, April 29, India reported 379,257 new cases and 3,645 new deaths, the highest number of deaths globally in a single day since the start of the pandemic. With its indifference to borders, COVID-19 has repeatedly illustrated our shared humanity and the interdependence of our well-being. And we must act now. Time is a privilege communities in India cannot afford during this crisis. 

We’re listening to our trusted voices on the ground to guide us - 450 Ashoka Fellows - systems-changing social entrepreneurs - acting on challenges across India. They’re telling us what they’re seeing and what communities need right now on the ground.  

Normally focused on reshaping systems to work for all, on this page, we are sharing their efforts to address immediate needs. We will continue to update this page based on their changing needs as the situation evolves. 

Anita Ahuja

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2007

Organization: Conserve India

Covid-19 response: 1) Help migrants who were unable to return home, 2) Production and distribution of masks to NGOs and fulfilling orders for the Indian government, 3) Manage WhatsApp group with individuals, community groups, donors and political leaders to monitor the community kitchens and facilitate conversations, 4) Created an Artisans Relief Fund, 5) Collaboration with Made 51 and UNHCR to provide livelihoods to refugees impacted by covid-19.

Support needed: Financial resources for acquiring pulse oximeters, oxygen concentrators, cylinders, digital thermometers and N95 masks.

How to support: Contact: www.conserveindia.org/contact-us/ or Anita Ahuja at [email protected]

Anshu Gupta

Ashoka Fellow since May 2004

Organization: Goonj

Covid-19 response: Reached out to 380,000 families (1.5 million people) in 26 states of India and distributes comprehensive family kits of essentials, primarily consisting of dry ration, and personal care material to the affected communities.

Support needed: Financial resources to: 1) Run and support community kitchens, 2) Reach out food and ration kits to migrant workers on the roads, 3) Production of masks and cloth sanitary napkins, 4) Leverage partner and volunteer base to verify needs and initiate online bank transfers to individuals, communities for ration/ medical and other necessary support. 4) Support the efforts of many other agencies working on the ground.

How to support: Donations in India: https://goonj.org/donate/ Donations outside India: https://goonj.give.asia/charity/goonj Bank Transfer: https://goonj.org/donate-offline-foreign/

Ashif Shaikh

Ashoka Fellow since Feb 2016

Organization: Jan Sahas

Covid-19 response:§ Dry food distribution to migrant workers dwelling in slums and temporary arrangements across 82 districts of 11 states § Emergency Transportation Support to stranded workers and their families travelling back to their homelands on foot § Direct cash transfer to most excluded families and migrant workers § Helpline Support people in distress § Mental Health & Legal support to the individuals in need in distress. § Personal Protective Equipment Kits to migrant workers and frontline workers

Support needed: Financial and material support

How to support: Contact [email protected]

Apar Gupta

Ashoka Fellow since Nov 2019

Internet Freedom Foundation


Organization: Internet Freedom Foundation

Covid-19 response:1. Policy representations and joint letters with public healthcare groups to ensure inclusive vaccination policies that are not excluding Indians who are not digitally connected 2. Ensuring the security and freedom of speech of volunteers and communities to organise emergency relief through digital modes and social media without threats of legal prosecution

Support needed: We would like to collaborate and offer any support on lines of policy, regulatory or legal help which may be needed by others. If there are any legal threats to your work please do reach out to us.

How to support: Email [email protected] and [email protected]

Organization: Development Alternatives Group

Covid-19 response: Applying strategic foresight to new challenges, Development Alternatives Group responded by providing immediate relief to over 35,000 people in the lockdown (The expenses for these services were paid by the CSR projects): 1) Meals, ration, masks, sanitisers and other essential were distributed, and over a 1000 PPE kits were given to frontline workers. 2) 200 panchayat leaders, migrant workers, and ASHA and Aanganawadi workers were trained in COVID-19 prevention measures. 3) Radio Bundelkhand, the community radio was leveraged to generate COVID related awareness to 200,000 people in 150 villages of Bundelkhand.

Support needed: We need financial support to continue engagement with communities in rural India. Especially adult women who are imparted with functional, financial and health literacy through the TARA Akshar+ programme. Your contribution will ensure women have pathways to agency, authority and new opportunities for growth

How to support:Donate: https://www.devalt.org/Donate.aspx; or Contact Maj Gen Rahul Bhardwaj, VSM (Retd) by email ([email protected]) or by phone (+91 8376973844; +91 9958871718)

Ashwin Naik

Ashoka Fellow since Jul 2010

Organization: Manah Wellness

Covid-19 response: 1) Provides mental health support thought a helpline (LetstalkIndia.org) in association with 20 mental health organisations from across India and 300 mental health professionals who support families and individuals in distress.

Solution – LetsTalk for Medical Professionals. This year in addition to our ongoing support for individuals, we want to create an additional initiative curated especially for medical professionals – a dedicated helpline manned by trained by qualified psychologists, covid support group for medical professionals, and facilitated peer support group for at risk professionals. We intend to provide direct and indirect support to 10,000 medical professionals in the next four months.

Support needed: Financial support to create a dedicated helpline manned by trained/ qualified psychologists, a covid support group for medical professionals, and facilitated peer support group for at risk professionals. We intend to provide direct and indirect support to 10,000 medical professionals in the next four months.

How to support: Contact Ashwin Naik at [email protected]

Organization: Naireeta Services

Covid-19 response: We are working in three levels: 1) at the city level in Ahmedabad, we are coordinating following networks to facilitate urban needy community to access timely, adequate and affordable medical supply, food and correct information. There is a food supply network, a medical support service network and one knowledge network. We are reaching out to more than 27 hospitals ie nearly 4200 patient beds and food delivery to more than 4000 households. From 4th May 2021 it will increase warm food at door step delivery for 6000 affected families within covid protocols. 2) At the perimeter-urban level, we are working in Gujarat and West Bengal with our partners to deliver above services. We are training women members to be center of their own families as well as peer groups. Nearly 1750 peri urban poor individuals are getting supported across Bengal and Gujarat. 3) In rural areas we have trained our women volunteers and facilitating them for mask, vaccination, social distancing and support for home isolation extension services. In Gujarat, 341 women volunteers are looking after nearly 107000 rural poor individuals' health and hygiene improvement against COVID-19.

Support needed:Urban medical serice system is unable to attain the surge in demand. Periurban and rural areas are staring at imminent death. In West Bengal all three are in diabolical conditions. Gujarat is also facing severe drought and Bengal is at the threshold of COIVD-19 epidemic after the nasty election process. In this context we will be needing: 1. financial support for making medical supply available to the local community (as they cannot get any bed in chockablock govt hospitals and they can not afford private hospital as they do not have financial strength). 2. our women members will be needing PPE kits as well as medical instruments (oxymeter and oxygen concentrators for their home isolation patients). 3. food for our food supply. And most importantly water supply guarantee for peak summer period for all the villages

How to support: Contact by Ph: +919825506900; Email: [email protected]; or Twitter

Organization: Farm2Food

Covid-19 response: 1) Distribute ration, medicine, sanitizer and masks, 2) Ambulance and home isolation support at the village level, 3) Information collation and dissemination, 4) Setting up homestead nutrition gardens, 5) Setting up IT kiosks in villages with LAN system for children to access online education, 6) Flood preparation: setting up infrastructure at highlands, upgradation of tubewell for drinking water, fortification of village level dams, Animal fodder bank etc.

Support needed: The state of Assam is in unique situation with the 2nd wave of Covid-19 crisis as it is also expecting severe floods from 2/3rd week of May. Needs: 1) Financial support, 2) Resource materials like first aid medicines, IT equipment, 3) Network support for social and phycological wellbeing.

How to support: Donation page: http://farm2food.org/donate/ or contact: [email protected] Ph: +91 9873401469

G.L. Janardhan

Ashoka Fellow since Dec 1998

Organization: Environmental Study Centre (KIDS(R))

Covid-19 response: 1. Keeping school going children engaged in covid holidays. 2. Home garden copitation organized. 3. To understanding the importance of Traditional food organized a traditional food preparation compitation. 4. To understanding the importance of wild greens, we did a compilation on use of wild greens in our food copitation. 5. To know the importance of wild plants medicinal value conducted a compilation of understanding medicinal plants identification. 6. Conducted a survey of life skills learning in the covid-19 holidays. We met 5000 children and received feedback from them. We published the out comes of the study.

Support needed: Funding (i.e. monetary support)

How to support: Come by the center (Environmental Study Centre (KIDS(R)) No 70/1, Rathnakaranagara Opposit UAHS, Post Abbalagere, Shivamogga-577204, Karnataka, India) or Contact Mr Janardhana GL, Director by phone: +91 9480431983 or email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Kavita Anand

Ashoka Fellow since Jun 2015

Organization: Adhyayan Foundation

Covid-19 response: 1) Ensuring that teachers can continue to reach their students and engage with them meaningfully, 2) Ensuring that State governments are able to plan for the coming academic years by making changes in their curricula and delivery of education.

Support needed: Financial support to continue engagement with leadership and governance of schools and school systems.

How to support: Donation page: https://payu.in/web/9AC29BC4D4FEA4E41D9DA2EB84A8B6C3 or contact [email protected]

Kuldeep Dantewadia

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2013

Organization: Reap Benefit

Covid-19 response: Equip citizens with reliable and accurate information and access essential resources and commodities across the country. Over the years, Reap Benefit mobilized over 45,000 citizens to support and enable civic solutions and is now using this network and technology platforms to enable information exchange and last mile delivery of essential services - ration and healthcare among others. The technology platforms in use are: 1) Chatbot for one-on-one communication with beneficiaries to understand and provide support as needed, 2) National Information Dashboard: Map based information on health care centres and hunger demands. Data on each can be verified by citizens as well as elected representatives. https://app.solveninja.org/.

Support needed: Financial resources to strengthen technology platforms to 1) Add multilingual capability to our WhatsApp chatbots, 2) Enable and support hyper local mapping of healthcare centres and hunger demands across regions.

How to support: Contact Kuldeep Dantewadia at [email protected]

Organization: Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS)

Covid-19 response: 1) Augmenting critical supplies to Government Covid Hospitals, 2) Stepping up vaccination drive, 2) Establish Covid Care Centres and Extend support services with set up of helpline to aid affected communities, 3) Facilitating supply of critical needs such as oxygen, provision of medical services through virtual platforms.

Support needed: 1) Support for augmenting critical supplies in Covid Hospitals (Detailed list of equipment being procured is available on request); 2) Support for Vaccination Drive for mobilising volunteers, ground logistics for underprivileged people; 3) Establishing Covid Care centres attached to existing public hospitals to manage non-critical patients.

How to support: Donors outside India: Give2Asia https://sforce.co/2wX1J3M / Donors in India: www.seedsindia.org/donate/ For donations under CSR, please contact Sidarth Sharma at Email: [email protected] / Ph: +91 9136001392

Mathew Jose

Ashoka Fellow since Jun 2015

Organization: Paperman Foundation

Covid-19 response:1) Training on COVID, VACCINE, Home isolation, 2) Teleconsulting & medicine support, 3) Telecounseling support, 4) Providing cooked food and dry ration support, 5) Plans for quarantine facilities.

Support needed: 1) Pulse oximeters, 2) Infra red thermometers, 3) teledoctors, 4) Human resources to attend to & direct calls, 5) Financial resources.

How to support: Contact Gayathri Prashanth at [email protected] Ph: +91 9900724114


Organization: Healing Fields

Covid-19 response: 1. Training on COVID, VACCINE, Home isolation; 2. Teleconsulting & medicine support; 3. Telecounseling support; 4. Providing cooked food and dry ration support; 5. Plans for Quarantine facilities in the coming days.

Support needed: 1. Pulse oximeters; Infra red thermometers; 3. teledoctors; 4. Resources - both manpower to attend to & direct calls and funds

How to support: Gayathri Prashanth; [email protected]; Ph: +919900724114

Piyush Tewari

Ashoka Fellow since Apr 2013

Organization: SaveLife Foundation

Covid-19 response: Leveraging its expertise in emergency medical response, first responder training and data analytics since 2008, fund the purchase and distribution of oxygen concentrators to Delhi hospitals.

Support needed: Addressing the acute shortage of Oxygen in public hospitals: 1) Procuring Oxygen Concentrators (10 LPM), 2) Procuring Oxygen Generation Plants (PSA), 3) Procuring Type D Oxygen Cylinders, 4) Shipping in 20 MT cryogenic O2 tankers from SE Asia.

How to support: Donors outside India: https://savelifefoundation.org/bank-details / Donors inside India: https://savelifefoundation.org/donate or contact [email protected] +91 94581 75112

Organization: Mushroom Development Foundation (MDF)

Covid-19 response:Just before 24th of March 2020 MDF have sensitized and trained about 1500 people from 45 villages in Meghalaya which has resulted in production of almost 1 ton of fresh mushrooms worth about INR 10 lakhs. MDF reached out in making the Spawn(seed) from our labs to these villages so that the population can have nutrition even when cut off from food coming from the outside. We had also organised collection of funds and food materials and distributed to 700 families during Juky 2020.

Support needed: 1. Transport facility to reach out to all our farmers clusters in Assam, Meghalaya and North Bengal with Mushroom Spawn, food and medicine. (One Pickup). 2. Funds to operate the collection and distribution of the materials.

How to support: Contact Pranjal Baruah by email: [email protected], phone: +919854003003, or Facebook

Priya Agrawal

Ashoka Fellow since Jul 2015

Organization: Antarag Foundation

Covid-19 response:1. Ensuring secondary school students from government schools across Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Udaipur are accessible and do not drop out of education 2. Ration and internet recharge for adolescents and their families from 12 low income communities in Mumbai and Pune 3. Therapy and counseling for staff, facilitators and students 4. Internships and jobs for youth and their families to keep incomes going 5. Increasing vaccine uptake and accessing medical care during COVID

Support needed: Financial Support; Volunteering Support to make phone calls and create communication materials; Device donations

How to support: Email [email protected] or call +91 7045802269

Sachin Jain

Ashoka Fellow since May 2017

Vikas Samvad

Organization: Vikas Samvad

Covid-19 response:1. Connecting covid suspected/infected persons with health facilities, 2. Arranging/Sharing Medicine Kits in 5 Districts on Madhya Pradesh. 3. In the cases of death of grassroots workers/activists, arranging/collecting financial resources for their families. 4. Creating IEC Material and Building capacities of Grassroots Workers on Mental Wellbeing, Vaccination, Correct information etc. 5. Creating work opportunities for rural youths by initiating water, forest and horticulture works.

Support needed: Financial Support. Oxymeters, tharmameters, masks; Material for rural isolation centers.

How to support: Email [email protected], or call +91 9977704847.

Sanjeev Kumar

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2013

Organization: The Goat Trust

Covid-19 response: 1) Gift a glass of milk program for immunity/Nutrition to malnourished children, 2) Food to ultra-poor families/Old/disabled, 3) COVID helpline for rural areas to suggest basic home remedies in consultation with doctor, 4) Restoration of livelihoods by providing "Gift a goat" program and Feed for goats 5) Distribution of pamphlets and posters to reduce fear psycho by providing correct information on vaccine and home remedies /protection from COVID.

Support needed: Financial support to: 1) Ensure a glass of milk to malnourished children to enhanced their immunity and chances of survival, 2) Food packets or fund for distribution of food to ultra poor families, 3) Equipment for improving COVID call center and registration of qualified doctors for counselling of patients, Oxymeter, Oxygen concentrator, vehicle for mobile health services.

How to support: Contact the Goat Trust at [email protected], Ph: +91 8601873055

Seema Prakash

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2006

Organization: Spandan Samaj Seva Samiti

Covid-19 response: 1. Food Baskets to 2000 malnourished and High Risk pregnant women 2. Provided Dry ration to 100 wage earnesr in reverse migration 3. 1300 families supported to grow homestead nutrition gardens 4. Masks distributed to Anganwadi workers, ASHA 5. 100 tribal women and girls assisted to set up micro economic enterprises 6. Sanitary Napkins to women and girls 7. Food for work to develop neighborhood land & water resources

Support needed: 1) Nutrition & Food support to malnourished children 2) Equipmets oxymeters, thermal guns 3) Soaps and sanitizers and Masks 4) Safety kits to frontline staff 5) Financial support to manage COVID 19 relief campaign

How to support: Contact Prakash Michael by email [email protected] or phone +91 9691964626

Organization: Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals

Covid-19 response: Leveraging existing projects to deliver relief: 1. Working with 160,000 Adolescent Girls in Jharkhand 2. 7200 elderly in Nandurbar 3. 250,000 faming members who are members of 300 odd FPOs with whom we are working. 4. Facilitating vaccinations in our geographies wherever feasible, 6 Ambulances deployed for COVID related patients, providing PPE Kits, Masks, Sanitisers and other basic prevention material.

Support needed: 1. People to help out at an existing 40 person call center which we run for reproductive healthcare so that COVID related helpline could be started in addition to the existing. 2. Need Ambulances-(Second hand also are fine) for medical as well as for transportation of bodies 3. O2 concentrators, PPE Kits, medical supplies.

How to support: Contact Sunil Khairnar by phone +91 9810259221 or email [email protected]

Urvashi Sahni

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2009

Organization: Study Hall Foundation

Covid-19 response: Meals distribution; Mask and sanitizer distribution; Ration and food packets distribution; Reusable Sanitary pads distribution; Narrowing the digital divide and its embedded gender divide by connecting girls to education using smartphones (1 device connects 4 to 5 girls living in the same area); Training teachers to use online mediums to continue educating children.

Support needed: Collaborate with organisation to provide food, masks and medical support to marginalized communities

How to support: Contact Sania Ashar by email [email protected] or by phone +91 7309648593