City of Dallas, in partnership with Indian American CEO Council and Dallas Foundation.org, announced a new effort to provide assistance to the City of Jaipur in Rajasthan, as India battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. Mayor Eric Johnson and Arun Agarwal, the CEO of Dallas-based Nextt and chairman of the Indian American CEO Council, are leading the effort to collect donations for Jaipur.
So far, the relief effort has raised more than $1 million worth of personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves. The Dallas Foundation is accepting donations at DallasFoundation.org/IndiaCovidRelief.
India has been ravaged by COVID-19 in recent weeks. And in total, the country has reported more than 25 million COVID-19 cases, which is now second only to the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The virus has also been responsible for more than 278,000 deaths in India.
The mayor asked Agarwal, who serves as his Park Board appointee, to help identify a city in need in India. Agarwal selected the City of Jaipur, which has a population of more than 3.1 million people, in Rajasthan. “Cities are on the front lines of solving the world’s problems,” Mayor Johnson said. “This has been made even more apparent during the pandemic as local governments, in the absence of clear federal guidance and planning, had to act quickly last year and take decisive measures to protect their residents’ lives and livelihoods.”
Mayor Johnson and Agarwal had a virtual meeting Saturday with Dr. Raghu Sharma, the current Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare for the Government of Rajasthan and City of Jaipur, to discuss the effort.
“The crisis in India is heartbreaking and beyond comprehension,” Agarwal said. “I am incredibly grateful to Mayor Johnson for stepping up to ask how Dallas can help the people of India through this city-to-city connection.”
Mayor Johnson said he will continue to look for ways to help other cities in the world that are grappling with surges in COVID-19 cases.
“Dallas has amazingly generous people and a vibrant philanthropic community,” Mayor Johnson said. “We know that to be true in Dallas, and soon, the world will know it, too. Our goal is to be recognized on the global stage as the most generous city in the world.”