Indian American girl raises funds in US for Odisha train tragedy victims

World Tuesday 08/August/2023 08:09 AM
Indian American girl raises funds in US for Odisha train tragedy victims

New York : All of 16, an Indian American girl, Tanishka Dhariwal, raised more than USD 10,000 to PM CARES Fund towards helping those affected by the horrific train accident in Odisha earlier this year.

On Friday, Tanishka presented the funds to the Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, which came from her friends of diverse backgrounds, underscoring the unity and global community spirit nurtured among these young individuals.

“I was able to start a GoFundMe page. I reached out to schools, districts, friends and family and raised over USD 10,000. Hopefully, this money will be able to go and help the people who have been affected deeply by this. I believe a little goes a long way and hopefully this is a good start to it,” Dhariwal told ANI.

The donation ceremony was attended by Haridas Kotewala, patron member of RANA; Ashok Sancheti, advisor at Jaipur Foot USA; Ravi Jargarh, joint secretary of RANA; and Chandra Sukhwal, a senior member of RANA.

Tanishka Dhariwal, accompanied by her parents Nitin and Sapna Dhariwal, was also present.

Prem Bhandari, president of RANA and founding chair of Jaipur Foot USA, underscored the exceptional efforts undertaken by young Indian-Americans like Tanishka.

“In Tanishka's heartfelt gesture, it's not about the amount. It's about the emotion behind it. This also highlights stronger ties that are still alive among U.S.-born Indian youth and their homeland. These connections take on greater significance against the backdrop of India's ongoing pursuit of self-reliance under PM Modi," Prem Bhandari told ANI.

Bhandari commeded India's self-reliance and its substantial role in international humanitarian assistance.

In the past decade, India's outreach has extended to more than 100 nations, culminating in aid exceeding USD 25 billion.

Especially noteworthy is India's steadfast support during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the nation extended critical medical aid and vaccines through the Vaccine Maitri Programme to over 150 countries, while also providing supplies to various other countries in dire need.

Former RANA president KK Mehta was the first NRI to generously donate Rs 1 crore on the day PM Narendra Modi announced the PM CARES Fund, at the peak of the pandemic in India.

Tanishka is a youth member of the Rajasthan Association of North America, commonly referred to as RANA, which is a robust and influential organisation representing non-resident Rajasthanis around the globe. With a mission to unite and empower those hailing from Rajasthan living outside India.

After PM CARES Fund was initiated in Delhi on March 28, 2020, it garnered attention globally, and especially among members of the Indian diaspora across the world.

A remarkable moment unfolded as RANA members KK and Chandra Mehta stepped forward as trailblazers.

On March 30, they made a contribution of INR 1,00,00,000 to the cause. This act of compassion and generosity echoed their commitment to making a significant impact.

Prem Bhandari applauded 16-year-old Tanishka's efforts in the face of Odisha tragedy.

Tanishka says she will continue to raise funds for victims of the tragedy in Odisha where at least 288 people lost their lives after a collision involving three trains.

Another 1,200 people were seriously injured in the crash.