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Crisis in India

An MBA student-led initiative, Oxbridge Oxygenates, seeks to raise funds to save lives in India during the COVID-19 pandemic by mentoring donors about business education.

Indian woman gazes out of the window while protecting herself and wearing a mask against the coronavirus.

An initiative led by Cambridge and Oxford university MBA students from India, called Oxbridge Oxygenates, seeks to raise funds to save lives in India during the current COVID-19 crisis through donations in exchange for mentoring sessions about business education.

The initiative asks people to make a minimum donation of 1,000 rupees (about £10), and in exchange donors receive 30 minute one-on-one sessions with a Cambridge Judge Business School or Oxford Saïd Business School MBA on studying abroad, MBA admission information, post-MBA careers, or life at Cambridge and Oxford. The initiative is targeting aspiring MBA students and young professionals.

Students at Cambridge Judge began a donation drive for India in early May including a silent auction, which raised more than £5,000, mostly through contributions from current Cambridge Judge MBA and Master of Finance (MFin) students, faculty and alumni, said Chaitanya Nallaparaju, a current Cambridge MBA student at Cambridge Judge.

Chaitanya is one of the lead organisers of Oxbridge Oxygenates at Cambridge Judge, along with Cambridge MBA classmates Mayanka Sheoran and Srivani Chatti.

The students have set up a website that describes Oxbridge Oxygenates along with brief profiles of about 40 current and incoming MBA students at Cambridge and Oxford who have agreed to serve as mentors for the project, and have also set up a fundraiser page.

The website says: “There’s no easy way to say this, MBA prep is lonely. From career puzzles to interview struggles, we’ve seen it all. But hey, we made it, you will too.”

The initiative is working with several organisations in India, including Khalsa Aid, which sends oxygen concentrators from the UK to India to meet urgent needs for them in India; Makers Asylum, which is creating oxygen kits and bridging skills gaps in nearly 300 communities in India; and Hemkunt Foundation, a charity working on the current oxygen crisis in India.