Savannah yoga instructor organizes fundraiser for Indian hospital


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah community is coming together this week to help a struggling nation: India.

As the country sees hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases each day, hospitals are running dangerously low on medical supplies and even wood for funeral pyres.

Images from the pandemic-stricken country worry yoga studio owner Kate Doran.

“Community is a really important part of what we do as yoga teachers, and my idea was to find someone in our own community that we could work with and understand what they’re going through and what their family is going through,” said Doran.

Doran approached her student, Savannah resident Muhammad Vali, to ask how she could help. Vali’s mother, Dr. Lulu Fatema Vali, is a doctor at Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur.

“He seemed how I felt, which was kind of helpless,” said Doran.

Together, Doran and Vali set out to help. Vali asked his mother what the hospital needs.

Among other supplies, she says ventilators and oxygen concentrators are on the list. Medicine for a COVID-19 associated black fungus is also crucial.

“What it causes is blindness,” explained Doran. “And a lot of people are coming down with it because they’re reusing masks over and over again, and it’s fostering the fungus.”

Doran hopes a fundraiser can help get the hospital the supplies it needs. The group, Savannah Area Teachers of Yoga Association, wants to raise at least $10,000, which is enough for one ventilator.

“I felt like it was our role as leaders in the community to step in and do something,” said Doran, who now hopes the community will step in, too.

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