Prince Charles charity joins UK aid efforts to India


LONDON — Prince Charles said Wednesday that he is “deeply saddened” by the surge in coronavirus deaths in India.

He urged the public to back an appeal to buy oxygen equipment for the stricken nation.

In a message to the people of India, the heir to the throne said: “Indian aid and ingenuity has been a support to other countries through this immensely difficult time. As India has helped others, so now must we help India.”

He added that he has a “great love for India” and that he wanted “those suffering the effects of this pandemic in India to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers.”

The British Asian Trust, a charity Charles founded in 2007, launched an emergency appeal called “Oxygen for India” to buy oxygen concentrators, which can extract oxygen from the air when hospital infrastructure struggles to cope. As of Wednesday, the charity had raised more than 140,000 pounds of its 200,000-pound target.

Britain has a huge Indian diaspora community of about 1.4 million people, and many have sought ways to support their home country during this crisis. A separate online fundraiser on the GoFundMe website has collected more than 380,000 pounds within days, and its organizers say the funds have enabled them to order hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ship them to India by the weekend.

A first British government shipment of 200 pieces of medical equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, arrived in Delhi Tuesday, and further shipments will take place later in the week.

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