If you follow us on instagram, you may have seen our post yesterday about the quote that's been on our minds all week:
You're not safe if the people you love aren't safe, and the people they love, and and and.
It's feels like this quote sits at the heart of everything: the pandemic has shown us just how intricately connected we are across the world, and the problem with a worldview that prioritises individualised safety over collective safety. It extends to everything. LGBTQ+ rights. Disability rights. Transgender rights. Antiracism. Climate activism. It's never just about one individual. How could it be when we're all so connected?
If you read that post, you'll know, too, that we have dear family members who live in Sudan. When the vaccine breakthrough was first announced, we celebrated the news together over the phone. Then, slowly, devastatingly, it dawned on us all that this wouldn't be a universal vaccine distributed along the routes of need or equity but, rather, instead, in the way that everything is distributed when global power and profit is involved. In Sudan, a Covid test costs three months' wages, and there is no vaccine programme on the horizon - not for elderly people, not for vulnerable people, not for anyone.
The devastating crisis in India is difficult to comprehend from a distance but it feels more important than ever that we try to join the dots. Often, with social media and the fast pace of the news cycle, we're guilty of skimming the surface of issues, never giving them the time needed to really understand. We want to help, but have no idea where to begin. Sometimes the guilt paralyses us. At the weekend, we shared our Bank Holiday Bingo. As is often the case in our world here at Century, it's a mix of the serious stuff alongside the light-hearted. For the "Learn more about an issue you've been skirting around" prompt, we committed to gathering resources to better understand the role we in the UK can play in offering support to India right now. Of course, if you choose to donate, please do your own research on the websites provided but below is a mixture of a few resources we thought you might find helpful:
Some background reading (click for the links)
Devi Sridhar, chair of public health at the University of Edinburgh, on why we need a collective effort. "While we enjoy the return to normality in Britain, we must remember that we’re a tiny island on a massive planet. All you have to do is spin a globe to recognise how our health is connected to that of others – and why we therefore need a concerted global effort to end this pandemic."
Places to Donate
Give India is a platform where you can donate to specific projects, e.g. Help low-income families bereaved by COVID, or Provide oxygen, or Donate food to families struggling with hunger in Covid' s second wave. When you click on a project, the currency is initially in Indian rupee but on each project page you can click in the top right of the page and change the currency to GBP or whatever you use.
From their website:
Art For India is a UK-based online print sale to raise urgent funds for India’s COVID-19 relief, supporting Mission Oxygen. Prints are £100 each, plus shipping. The sale will be live until 9th May 2021 and 100% of proceeds will be donated to Mission Oxygen's appeal.
Renowned artists from India, the diaspora and friends have united around this urgent cause, donating some of their most loved and striking imagery. Artists including Bharat Sikka, Prarthna Singh, Kalpesh Lathigra, Ashish Shah and Avani Rai have all donated photographs for the sale.
Mission Oxygen is a group of 250+ entrepreneurs in India who have launched an urgent operation to import oxygen concentrators and distribute them to hospitals across India.
About TWEET from their website: "Transgender Welfare Equity and Empowerment Trust (TWEET) Foundation is a registered body under the Mumbai Charity Commissioner led by seven trans activists.
Our mission is to build empowered, self-sufficient, and vibrant Trans movement in India by wholly caring for the welfare of trans persons; their education, medical treatment, legal standing, and culture and social upliftment.
Urgent COVID-19 Support Donation to TWEET on Go Fund Me:
We (Shaman, from TWEET Foundation in India, and Ayden, a trans health researcher from the US) are raising funds to be distributed by the TWEET (Trans Welfare Equity & Empowerment Trust) Foundation to support the basic needs of trans people in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please support the community by donating if you can and spreading the word.
We are all familiar with the fact that Covid-19 has disrupted the livelihood of many people. This pandemic has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities, among whom the transgender community in India is facing a particularly catastrophic situation. This predicament has left them more endangered since they are on the brink of starvation. Most of them earned their basic income through their daily occupation and this flow of income, on which they solely survive, has been put at risk due to this calamity."
Other Ways to Help
Check in on your friends of Indian heritage. Are they OK? Is there anything you can do to support them or their families personally? Particularly if they are in contact with loved ones affected by the crisis in India, is there a way that you can support them as they support others?
Help raise awareness. If you're on social media, can you share resources and campaigns?
And, as we move towards an election here in Scotland tomorrow, let's all keep the fact that You're not safe if the people you love aren't safe, and the people they love, and and and in our minds. There is no "us" and "them".
Thanks for reading x