Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], June 7 (ANI): The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Alumni in India and abroad have donated more than USD 2 million towards COVID relief efforts in India that are being coordinated by their Alma Mater. IIT Madras is using a phased approach for deployment to ensure a high impact of COVID-19 relief.
As per the official release, the fundraising was coordinated by the Office of Alumni and Corporate Relations (ACR), IIT Madras, in association with the IIT Madras Alumni Association of North America and IITM Foundation in the US.
The IIT-M Alumni Charitable Trust played a vital role in the logistics and in liaising with the local government to ensure timely deployment of the units.
Elaborating about these efforts from IIT Madras Alumni, Anand Rajaraman, a partner at a Silicon Valley-based Venture Capital firm Rocketship VC and an IIT Madras alumnus, said, "It is the duty of the Indian diaspora to rally and help the country get through these darkest hours. As a Chennai boy, I am grateful and proud that the IIT Madras Alumni network has mobilized to help Chennai and Tamil Nadu with medical equipment and supplies to fill critical gaps and save thousands of lives."
Further, Dr. Jane Prasad, Registrar, IIT Madras, handed over 74 BiPAP Units to Chennai Corporation Officials recently. IIT Madras Alumni have also donated 200 oxygen concentrators (5 liters each) to Telangana government.
Elaborating on their efforts, Kamal Duggirala, Chairman IITM Foundation-US, said, "It has been an amazing experience to contribute to this campaign with fellow alumni from IIT Madras. So many people stepped forward to source equipment, raise funds and ensure delivery of the equipment. It is gratifying to know that we could make a difference at a very challenging time in India."
N Alamelu, Secretary, IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust, Chennai, said, "Through this donation, our (IIT Madras) Alumni would like to say that 'while we may be separated by physical distance, our thoughts and support are always with you. We are with you'."
IIT Madras alumni working as senior executives with reputed MNCs were actively involved in evaluating and finalising the options available at various stages throughout the process. IIT Madras will continue to contribute to the COVID relief measures in the months to come, as social commitment has always been a topmost priority for the Institute.
Lauding these efforts, Professor Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, "Our alumni have reacted swiftly and forcefully to fulfil a need created by this pandemic. We are ever grateful to them for their support."
Further, Rekha Ranganathan, IIT Madras Alumnus (BTech, '93 Batch), said, "Chennai is home. When I learned about the challenges due to COVID for all patients and my friends, I strongly felt I had to give back to help. IITM Foundation and MAANA came together to make it happen. I contributed as much as I could in resources and effort."
Kaviraj Nair, CEO (Development Office), IIT Madras, added, "We saw a tremendous response from our alumni who rose to the occasion and contributed generously to COVID relief activities. IIT-M alumni have demonstrated again that we are conscious of our social responsibilities and most willing to help our nation in times of need."
Besides these efforts, IIT Madras has formed a COVID Relief Fund to support students and faculty who are in distress due to the medical exigencies caused by the pandemic. In the last financial year (FY'21), IIT Madras raised as much as Rs 96 lakh to cater to the COVID relief requirements of students and employees of IIT Madras.
There is also a clear proposal to upgrade the medical infrastructure within the campus to cater to any potential requirements that may arise as it re-opens the campus to receive students, as and when the lockdown conditions are lifted and the threat of the pandemic eases out.
The Startups incubated by IIT Madras are also at the forefront of the nation's efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. Modulus Housing, founded by IIT Madras alumni in 2018 and incubated by IIT Madras Incubation Cell, developed a portable hospital unit that can be installed anywhere within a few hours.
Called 'MediCAB,' it is a decentralised approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities through these portable microstructures. MediCAB has already been deployed in the field including in Wayanad, Kerala, among other places. (ANI)