ACG Meets with Indian Gastroenterology Colleagues

A May 11th meeting between ACG’s leadership and a delegation of gastroenterologists from across India, including leadership of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology (ISG), focused on the COVID-19 crisis there with the goal to explore ways the College could be helpful in efforts to help improve the situation there.
ACG President David Greenwald, MD, FACG and President-Elect Samir A. Shah, MD, FACG were joined by ACG International Relations Committee Chair Seth Gross, MD, FACG and Vivek Kaul, MD, FACG, along with representatives of the College’s executive staff. They discussed how the ACG, as an educational organization, could provide meaningful help. Our Indian GI colleagues shared a PowerPoint presentation outlining the dire situation.
Friendship and Collaboration Between ACG and ISG

ACG’s primary objective was to convey to the leadership of the ISG that ACG and their U.S. colleagues are with them in spirit at this daunting time and to share any relevant lessons learned in the U.S. Our Indian colleagues were extremely appreciative of the College’s concern and interest in providing assistance, and noted that moral support is of great value to them at this difficult time. 
The College committed to raise awareness among our members in the United States and around the world by highlighting the challenges facing India, as well as ways our membership could express support for India during this crisis. 
Opportunities for Charitable Giving

In response to inquiries from ACG members, working together, ACG and ISG investigated and identified several charities based upon an understanding of the work they are currently doing in India and upon their respective organizational reputations.
For those ACG members interested in contributing, here are four organizations we understand are working to meet the most critical needs on the ground in India: 

  • The American India Foundation  AIF’s core values are aligned to catalyze social and economic change for the most underserved communities in India to help individuals realize their full potential. They aim to help create an India free from poverty, one in which everyone has access to affordable education, health care and livelihood opportunities. AIF has a three-pronged Emergency Response Strategy in Phase 2 to address the current COVID-19 crisis.
  • The Indian Red Cross  The Indian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1,100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health and care of vulnerable people and communities. The IRC has been coordinating their work with the Health Ministry.
  • Dasra  Dasra has long facilitated collaborations between donors, non-profits, corporations, and governments. Its COVID-19 fund will pass 100% of donations to local organizations that are importing oxygen concentrators for hospitals, testing communities for co-morbidities, providing support to migrant communities, and delivering much-needed food and aid.
  • Ekam USA  The Ekam Foundation is a non-profit NGO that works towards providing quality healthcare to needy children and mothers in India. The foundation was started on the basic premise that no child should be denied the right to healthcare. Ekam’s vision is to work for the well-being of children and mothers and thereby contribute to a reduction in infant, childhood, adolescent and maternal mortality rates.  Of note, this non-profit was founded by an ACG member and new ACG Governor from Louisiana, Dr. Neelima Reddy of Baton Rouge, LA.

ACG Stands with Our Indian Colleagues

The College sends best wishes to our colleagues in the gastroenterology community in India, to their patients, families, and communities, and to all those in every community who have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.