Odia NRI, Friends Launch Platform To Raise Funds For COVID Medical Equipment In NYC


Bhubaneswar: People across the globe found different ways of combating coronavirus induced blues during the lockdowns. While some found joy in cooking and pursued their creative interests, some withdrew into their shells. Others like Ipsita Praharaj and her two friends found solace in helping others.

Ipsita and her two friends-cum-roommates, Dipika Kasliwal and Ravina Verma, founded a fundraising platform, CovidWears, to tackle the issue of shortage of PPEs and other medical supplies at hospitals in New York City.

The trio has been selling comfortable loungewear, hoodies, crewnecks, T-shirts, masks, etc., to generate funds since May end. Through their brand’s logo – a sliver-lined cloud, they aim to “empower people to chase the silver lining that will carry us through this pandemic.”

Talking to OdishaBytes, Ipsita said, “We have raised more than USD 25,000 so far in our almost five-month journey…We donate 100 per cent of the profits from our sale.”

On what led to the conception of the endeavour she said, “We felt guilty that we were quarantining safely in our homes while so many people were struggling to even arrange for their own meals. CovidWears was our way of spreading our privilege to communities in need. It also helped us cope with our own pandemic related anxiety. Now, my friends and I feel like we are doing our part in supporting the NYC community during this crisis.”

The funds generated from CovidWears have benefitted patients in Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in NYC, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami, Florida and Camillus House, a homeless shelter in Miami.

Ipsita, 24, is an Indian immigrant like the other co-founders and has been living in the US for more than two decades now. She has fond memories of visiting her grandparents and eating pani puri on the streets with her mother and cousins.

She is pursuing her final year in Masters in Healthcare Administration at Columbia University, NYC. She plans to join Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations Consulting for Healthcare. “I am very passionate about health management for vulnerable populations,” Ipsita added.

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