India is seeing some of the highest infection rates of the Coronavirus in the world–more than 3 million people have suffered from the disease and more than 65,000 have died. The effects of the disease go further than just health; access to jobs, goods, and resources are also in jeopardy.
The Desai Foundation has found a way to both boost female entrepreneurs and help the population living with COVID-19. This year the non-profit, which helps to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children in India, has launched several initiatives to support women in India and the US during the pandemic. Its Masks of HOPE program hired 150 women to make 150,000 face masks for residents in rural India, and is planning to hire another 200 more to produce 100,000 face masks a month. The Foundation has also been continuing its efforts around menstrual health management by distributing tens of thousands of sanitary pads because, after all, periods don’t stop for pandemics.
“When the pandemic hit, we knew the women and girls we work with were more in need than ever,” said Megha Desai, president of the Foundation. “That’s why it was so important to double down on our efforts. Through Masks of HOPE, we’re enabling them not only to support their families with a steady income, but also to stay protected from the threat of COVID-19.”
On October 3, you can support their good work and party from your computer. That’s when the Desai Foundation will host its annual Lotus Festival event virtually for the first time ever. Invite a small group of friends, get dressed up, and — depending on what ticket you buy — enjoy a complimentary meal and wine pairing for a night full of guest speakers and music by DJ Rekha. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be matched. All funds will go towards the Desai Foundation’s COVID-19 efforts and their local health and livelihood programs. Tickets start at $100, but any donation will help — just $20 helps to produce and distribute 35 masks through Masks of HOPE.
Check out www.thedesaifoundation.org for more details on their work and the Lotus Festival 2020 event.