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The TIG Board has been closely monitoring the latest desperate COVID-19 news coming out of India while staying in regular touch with our families and the on-the-ground education and medical contacts we’ve developed over the years who support these families. We’ve been meeting regularly to try to deal with the impact of the crisis on our families.

Dr. Shelley Batra, our medical consultant and doctor in Delhi, reported the following news to us last week: “It is a grim situation in India. The health system has collapsed. There are three patients to a bed in public hospitals and one oxygen cylinder to be shared for 3 beds. Now we are rapidly running out of oxygen. New Delhi TV reports that Delhi has 10 hours supply left. Patients admitted in hospitals are gasping for air. There are no ICU beds, no ventilators, no monitors, no oximeters, no oxygen, no medicines. Everything is in short supply. Each hospital has hundreds of people clamouring for admission. Corruption is at an all time high. One vial of Remdesivir that costs Rs 2000 is available in the black market for 30,000. The same is true for oxygen cylinders. You need a letter from a politician to get an ICU bed.”

COVID in the TIG Family

Our family members are frightened and while, to date, none of them reports becoming infected with a symptomatic case, they’re seeing neighbors and friends die. The greater TIG family in India has been impacted, however. We were devastated to hear that Dr. Sucheta Hundoo, Principal at the Imperial School in Varanasi, died of COVID this spring. All of the children in Varanasi attend Imperial and Dr. Hundoo was an empathetic educator who worked with us to insure the children could catch up and succeed in school. Our Varanasi tutor, Roli, was just hospitalized with a serious case of COVID. In Khajuraho the principal and tutor for three of our children and her husband have contracted the disease. We have been unable to make contact with her since she told us. Even Dr. Shelly Batra tested positive for COVID as did her daughter, also a physician and her parents.

Only two percent of India has been fully vaccinated. We’ve been encouraging eligible family members to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but the extreme vaccine shortage and stories they hear about fraudulent black- market vaccines make them wary of the shots.


Funding Tuition for All the Children 

During the 2020 pandemic crisis, the TIG Board decided to discontinue paying school tuition for all our children under grade six. It was a difficult decision, but we were unclear how successful online learning would be for youngest children. More importantly, we found ourselves faced with two significant unanticipated expenses. We send families emergency food money every three weeks because there is no work available. Given the latest COVID news in India, we now anticipate sending food money to the families for the remainder of 2021. And we have had to purchase cellphones, laptops and data for the older students who needed technology to continue online school. 

In India, the new school year begins in April. As the Board considered the costs of educating our children in the new school year, we could not, in good conscience, deny a second year of education to our youngest children, particularly when education is central to the TIG mission. While we paid for tutoring this past year for our Khajuraho and Varanasi youngest students so they wouldn’t lose ground entirely, the youngest students in Delhi received no education at all. 

At our last meeting, the TIG Board voted to pay tuition and tutoring for all 33 school-age children this year and to purchase, when necessary, cellphones so they can attend school remotely when their schools shift from in-person to remote learning. Returning to the central mission of TIG for all school-eligible children with their added technology expenses at the same time we’re sending money for food and anticipating additional medical expenses means we are in even more need of your generous contributions. Our grateful families thank you for your support.

As always, we thank you for your financial generosity. Your donations to TIG provide the following support to our families:

  • Donate $50 (feed a family of 5 for a week)
  • Donate $100 (provide internet connection for a school year)
  • Donate $250 (provide 4 months of tutoring)
  • Donate $500 (provide a family basic medical care for a year)
  • Donate $1,000 (pay high school fees for a year)


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