SACRAMENTO (TIP): For Indian Americans living thousands of miles away from the country of their origin, the past few weeks have been nothing short of harrowing. As India continues to be in the grip of a deadly second wave of Covid pandemic, relatives in America are often at a loss wondering how they can come to the aid of India in its hour of crisis. While many organizations are creating fundraisers, some others are using creative outlets not only to cope with the worries, but to also create awareness and raise funds. California-based Indian American artist Sujata Tibrewala spent the past few days completing a new painting she titled, “Sick Mother India.”
From her San Jose home, the artist explained to a news outlet, why she resorted to the creative medium to help her calm down as distressing news continues coming out of India.
“I started to paint a traditional kalamkari art to take my mind off all the happenings in India,” she said. “But halfway through I saw the goddess having difficulty breathing due to all Covid around and I felt compelled to give her oxygen.” The artist-activist thinks that it is calamities such as these that make us realize how futile our differences and divides have been.
She says, “In the recent past, there have been conversations (in India) around mandir and masjid. But those who are affected are people from all religions.”
“Corona does not care. If Hindus go for a congregation, they will get affected. Same is the case with Muslims or any political party,” Tibrewala says.
“My country, the melting pot of all cultures has been reduced to this fighting in the name of religion, caste, political ideology. This is cruel reminder that instead we should be all fighting the common enemy – Covid.”
The artist however stresses that her painting is not just a creative outlet for healing for her, but through it she also intends to encourage fellow Indians in America to raise funds.
“I am amplifying my request to raise funds for India through my painting,” she says urging everyone to donate to any charity of their choice for Covid relief and send her a proof of donation.
“As a Thank You gesture, I will send them a digital print of this painting or my Mandala artwork if they are within US. If the contributors are outside of US they will get an online print.”
If art is serving as a medium to help some, many other organizations have come together to raise funds – an important in fact acute urgency during these times. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin are also collecting funds. The money raised would be used to send oxygen concentrators to India. Readers can go to https://events.aapiusa.org/donation-oxygen/ for donating.
Another fundraiser by Asha for Education, an NGO that works for education of underprivileged children in India will go towards purchasing medicine and hygiene kits, pulse oximeter kits and oxygen concentrators.
Readers can go to https://www.facebook.com/donate/318833112965921/10159189122663187/ for details.