ICRF-2: A giving collective that rose to the occasion

ICRF-2, our flagship philanthropy collective, was one like no other and empowered us to make greater impact, faster.

Pintu Yadav, a waste-picker living in Delhi’s Palam area, had sacks of recyclable materials, but he had no place to sell them because of the lockdown during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Days turned into weeks and his family ran out of food. Yadav says that on some days, he and his family went to bed drinking just boiled water.

When Give’s NGO partner Chintan came to know about the plight of waste-pickers like Pintu and others, it immediately distributed ration kits among 5,000 waste-pickers thanks to funds made available as part of the Give’s India Covid Response Fund-2 (ICRF-2).

1,400 kilometres away from Delhi, Ravi Tupe was rushed to a Covid care centre in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar from his village. He was gasping for breath when the centre, run by our NGO partner Snehalaya, put Tupe on an oxygen concentrator supplied as part of ICRF-2. Tupe recovered and was discharged after a few days.

These are two instances out of the millions that benefitted from one of India’s largest ever giving collectives.

ICRF-2 came into being in April 2021 when the second wave of the pandemic caught the government and the people unawares and  brought India’s healthcare system on the verge of collapse. Plus a significant humanitarian crisis was looming because of lockdowns, loss of livelihoods, Covid-bereaved families, and lack of access to daily essentials.

From our experience during ICRF-1 in 2020, we could anticipate the unfolding crisis on the ground, but the intensity of the problem was beyond our imagination. Thanks to the outpouring of support for the needy from all walks of life, our resolve became stronger to rise to the occasion and cope with the crisis.

The Impact of ICRF-2

Our humanitarian aid and healthcare efforts reached 28 states and seven union territories of the country. Our implementation partners on the ground included 270 NGOs, six state governments and the Indian Army. Overall, an estimated 6.2 million people benefited from ICRF-2.

Immediate and long-term healthcare support

During the second wave, the demand for critical healthcare and medical oxygen outstripped the supply several times over. Many preventable deaths occurred in semi-urban and rural areas as there was a lack of access to oxygen and critical care facilities at the local level.

Through its multitude of partners, Give could supply over 50,000 oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators at the height of the crisis, besides setting-up Covid Care Centres and ICUs and providing medical equipment in over 1,200 hospitals across the country.

While oxygen shortage may have been a one-off occurrence during Covid-19, Give believes that sustainable access to oxygen and critical care, especially at primary and secondary healthcare centres at the district level, is essential for meeting future needs. With that aim, Give, through its partners, is installing oxygen generation plants (OGPs) and ICUs at hospitals in rural districts.

ICRF-2 has also reached the icy heights of Kargil (Ladakh) and Akhnoor (Jammu & Kashmir) with its OGPs to aid the short- and long-term needs of the Indian Army personnel.

Give is also working closely with governments and its NGO partners as part of its ‘Vaccinate India Programme’ to reach the most vulnerable sections of the society living in underserved areas of the country. The programme is being expanded across India to fight vaccine hesitancy, build capacity and organise vaccination camps.

Meeting the humanitarian crisis head-on

Lockdowns meant a loss of livelihoods for millions of people. Meeting this emergency was of utmost importance. With the help of over 80 NGOs, Give provided over 1.4 lakh ration kits, 3.5 lakh cooked meals benefiting around 7.4 lakh people.

For low-income families, hard hit by the second wave, losing their only breadwinner was a body blow. Without cash in hand, many families were not able to even meet their basic needs. Give’s cash support helped over 8,300 families meet their immediate financial challenges.

Since Covid-19 led to the loss of income permanently for many, Give has launched long-term sustainable livelihood programmes for the most vulnerable in the rural areas through kitchen gardens, poultry and fish farms, handicraft-making etc. This will help marginal farmers, homemakers and others in rural areas live their lives without the fear of losing their sources of income.

The Covid-19 crisis brought the tremendous digital divide into focus, with students of low-income communities losing out on education. As part of the Bharat EdTech Initiative, Give in association with its partners is bridging the gap and making digital education a reality for one million children in India.

Under one collective

There was an outpouring of compassion from India and around the world during one of the country’s darkest times, and ICRF-2 became a people’s collective in the true sense of the term. People from all walks of life joined Give to raise or donate funds for the cause. From corporates to venture capitalists, and from High Networth Individuals (HNIs) to foundations and from actors and sportspersons to everyday givers, all came together to decrease the suffering brought on by the second wave.

The diversity of people who came on the Give platform raising funds for the crisis included international stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas who partnered with Indian-American entrepreneur Vinod Khosla through #TogetherForIndia to raise over ₹25.5 crore. The I Breathe For India Campaign by Lara Dutta and Shayamal Vallabhjee, in association with TiE, a non-profit headquartered in Silicon Valley, U.S.A., raised over ₹20.3 crore.

In other words, the ICRF-2 was a collective like no other, thanks to the generosity and compassion of all its supporters.


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