Pittsburgh Indians Help Sending Oxygen Concentrators to India

By Sailesh Kapadia, Wexford, PA

In early May, there was an appeal from a government hospital in New Delhi for oxygen concentrators for Covid patients. The nonprofit Wheel Global, a 501c3 organization in Washington DC, and the alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology received the request. Wheel Global’s inspiration was the late President of India, Dr.Abdul Kalaam, who in 2006 challenged IIT alumni to solve the “big problems facing India, the United States, and the rest of the World.”

 Wheels Global, collaborating with the IIT Delhi Excellence Foundation (IITDEF), ordered from DeVilbiss Co. located in Somerset, PA, all the 434 numbers of the FDA-approved oxygen concentrators available from them at that point. IITDEF and Wheels Global arranged the funds for the product, negotiated prices, and expedited shipping/delivery post-haste.

However, to comply with customs regulations in the US and India, DeVilbiss needed to fasten government-approved labels on each unit and every pallet of 12 units, a time-consuming step.

The coordinator, Himanshu Verma, a former resident of Pittsburgh, now living in Washington DC, asked for help from Pittsburgh to complete the job so that the shipment could go out in time to get on the Air India flight to New Delhi that same day.

When apprised of this need, Jamnadas Thakkar, a long-time entrepreneur and philanthropist in our area, wanted to get this done quickly. He contacted Manoj Kansara, the Financial Manager of a motel in Somerset. Kansara readily volunteered, went to the DeVilbiss plant, and got the job done.

The units were shipped on the same day in time to New Delhi and on arrival at Delhi, were distributed to hospitals in Delhi and IIT Delhi where the remainder of the units were retained for distribution to other needy places in India. For further information visit www.wheelsglobal.org or email suresh@wheelsglobal.orgEND


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