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What lawyers are doing to provide covid relief – and how you can help

As India reels under a devastating second wave of covid-19, lawyers at domestic and international law firms are coming together to organise and support relief projects across the country. Efforts include a crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by lawyers from L&L Partners and Chandhiok & Mahajan to convert a Delhi school into a field hospital, an initiative by Baker McKenzie to raise money for ICU beds, oxygen concentrators and much more, and Mission Aahan Vaahan, an initiative of alumni of National Law School of India University, which has set up quarantine and covid care centres for children in Bengaluru. Below are some of the notable initiatives undertaken by lawyers, along with important information and details of how you can help.

Vaibhav Kakkar and Akshay Jain from L&L Partners, and Karan Chandhiok and Pooja Mahajan from Chandhiok & Mahajan are working alongside Aster Volunteers, the corporate social responsibility arm of Aster DM Healthcare, and Alshifa Hospital, to convert a school in Delhi into a field hospital. They are seeking to raise INR20 million (US$270,000) to bring the hospital into operation and cover its operating costs. By 17 May, they had raised just over half of this amount.

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A group of alumni of National Law School of India University who chartered 10 flights to enable almost 2,000 migrant workers to get home during the first wave of the pandemic has now launched Mission Aahan Vaahan to help children. “The continuing covid crisis in India has tragically torn apart many families,” says Talha Salaria, the founding partner of Lawyers at Work, who is a member of the group. “Many children whose parents or guardians are either hospitalised or have passed away due to covid are in need of immediate care and protection.” Mission Aahan Vaahan has teamed up with Whitefield Rising, Dream India Network, Motherhood Hospitals and Rainbow Hospitals to set up exclusive quarantine and covid care centres in Bengaluru for children affected by or infected with covid-19. The group has a fundraising target of INR15.5 million (US$210,000), of which INR2 million had been raised by 21 May.

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Khaitan & Co has partnered with United Way Mumbai to support frontline workers and marginalised communities. The charity provides equipment to hospitals and healthcare workers, food and hygiene supplies to daily-wage earners, and facilitates testing. It is also spreading awareness about mask-wearing, social distancing and hygiene, and countering disinformation about vaccination. Over the past year, United Way has supported over 50,000 families from marginalised communities with rations and hygiene supplies, and provided more than 400,000 cooked meals. Donations raised by the firm so far total INR634,000 (US$8,600).

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International law firm Baker McKenzie has launched an appeal on GiveIndia to raise money for ICU beds, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, BiPAP machines and ventilators for hospitals that badly need them. The initiative, which the firm’s global chair Milton Cheng has personally championed, has raised US$43,000 of its US$50,000 target. Baker McKenzie will match the total amount donated.

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Twinkle Kalia withn one of her ambulances
Twinkle Kalia with one of her ambulances

Rajeshwari Hariharan, managing partner of IP boutique Rajeshwari & Associates, is a keen supporter of the work of husband-and-wife team Twinkle and Himanshu Kalia, who fund and run a free ambulance service in Delhi and other cities. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Kalias have worked tirelessly ferrying covid patients to hospitals and bodies to crematoriums. They also arrange cremations for people who have been abandoned by family members. In April, their organisation routinely received up to 300 emergency calls per day and dealt with cremating as many as 50 bodies per day. The service is provided free of charge. Their work has continued despite Twinkle Kalia fighting a personal battle with cancer.

To find out how to help, email

Pier Counsel is working in consortium with Friends of Padup and E&H Foundation to raise funds to set up 10 oxygen generators at hospitals across India under the Oxygen4Ever initiative. “It’s time for private parties to come together and show our collective might to defeat the deadly and ever-evolving virus,” said Anish Vohra, a lawyer at the firm. “We cannot let any more individuals lose their life due to the unavailability of oxygen”. The initiative aims to help hospitals provide life-saving oxygen to approximately 4,800 patients per year. The first plant is being set up in a hospital in Gurgaon and will provide oxygen to up to 50 ICU beds. “Let’s come forward to assist our country to come back stronger,” says Vohra. “Any amount will be highly helpful in saving a life.”

Click here to donate.

UK law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has launched an India Covid Relief Appeal. All funds raised will be remitted to Hunger Heroes, an Indian charity run by Zomato Feeding India, and Goonj. The funds will provide oxygen concentrators and other life-saving equipment to covid patients, as well as meals and meal kits to those who have lost their livelihood or loved ones due to the crisis. Penningtons has also helped an Indian company organise a shipment of oxygen concentrators to India through a manufacturing contact in Turkey. With the assistance of its network firms JunHe and Heussen, it is helping them arrange a further shipment of 1,250 concentrators from China and Germany. Phillip D’Costa, co-head of the firm’s India Group, is coordinating these efforts. So far, the total assistance provided through Sri Satya Sai UK Charitable Trust, of which D’Costa is a trustee, and the firm’s charitable wing – Penningtons Manches Cooper Foundation – is £55,000 (US$80,000).

For international donors, click here to donate.
For Indian donors, click here or here to donate.

mask, India, Covid-19
Cloth masks ordered by ProFidus

Fidus Law Chambers, through its registered charity, ProFidus Foundation, has been involved in three covid relief initiatives. First, it has created kits of oximeters and thermometers and worked in partnership with Vision Unlimited in Gurgaon, Anubhav in Kolkata and the Bindaas Collective in Rajasthan to distribute them to underprivileged people. Each kit costs INR1,000 (US$14). Second, the firm is procuring oxygen concentrators for the use of those who are managing patients with mild to moderate cases in homes or community centres. 10 concentrators have been procured so far, with each costing US$1,350 plus tax. Third, the firm is supporting out-of-work handloom weavers by placing orders for three-layered breathable cotton masks. The funding for the initiatives has come mainly from the law firm itself, with friends and employees donating an additional US$10,000. A donor in the UK provided 200 oximeters. More donations are urgently needed to support the initiatives and provide food aid once the medical emergency abates. “The more support we receive, the more we would be able to expand each initiative,” says Shwetasree Majumder, the firm’s managing partner. “Food will become the next big need once the medical situation stabilises.”

How to help:

1. Contribute to the ProFidus Foundation, indicating which of the projects you’d like to support (foreign currency donations cannot be accepted):
Acount name: ProFidus Foundation
Acount number: 081605011136
Account type: Current account
Bank: ICICI Bank, H 1/34, Sector 63 Noida 201301

2. Email to place an order for cloth masks and to enquire about donating oximeters and thermometers.

Bangalore-based Algo Legal has set up a pro-bono program whereby anyone who has donated to an NGO or charity working towards covid relief can benefit from free legal advice from the firm’s partners and principal associates. Each team at the firm dedicates time each week to providing free advice in return for donations made. There is no minimum donation. Anyone who would like to support the initiative can donate to one of the following organisations – or any NGO or support group working on the front line – and then book an appointment for free legal advice at

1. Hemkunt Foundation
2. Milaap
3. Feeding India by Zomato
4. GiveIndia

Neela Badami, a partner at Samvad Partners, along with her alumni from University of Michigan Law School, has launched a fundraiser on GiveIndia. The funds raised will support healthcare, as well as other pressing pandemic-related issues, including education, livelihood, and humanitarian relief. The NGOs being supported include KVN Foundation, TeachforIndia, Bhumi, Concern India, Project Mumbai and Doctors for You. So far, the initiative has raised INR1.4 million (US$19,000) of a INR50 million (US$680,000) goal. All donations are tax-exempted for India, US and UK-based donors.

Click here to donate.

Delhi-based IP firm Inttl Advocare donated INR1 million (US$14,000) to the Hemkunt Foundation, a charitable organisation that is providing oxygen and other aid to people in need. The firm’s managing partner, Hemant Singh, has been actively fundraising within the legal fraternity and helped to arrange further donations of INR1 million to Hemkunt Foundation from the India group of the AIPPI and INR1 million to a different NGO from the India group of the APAA. Meanwhile, senior partner Mamta Jha has established a think tank with alumni from the University of Delhi’s Campus Law Centre to verify data regarding the availability of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, etc., on a real-time basis and share it with those in need. The think tank also connects those without access to food to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a charity that is providing food relief. “Oxygen cylinders, oxymeters and concentrators continue to be the need of the hour,” Singh told India Business Law Journal. “These NGOs are doing great work in helping Covid patients.”

1. Hemkunt
2. Goonj
3. Mission Oxygen

A medical facility run by Doctors for You
A medical facility run by Doctors for You

Manoj Kumar, the founder and managing partner of Hammurabi & Solomon, is a patron of Doctors for You, a pan-India humanitarian organisation, and an active fundraiser for the group. Doctors for You has set up and operates multiple covid care centres around the country, including a 120-bed facility in a banquet hall in central Delhi and a multi-speciality centre in Bihar. Hammurabi & Solomon gives financial support to the organisation and provides legal advice on a pro bono basis. The law firm also provides food, clothes, medicines and other necessary items to Mother Teresa childcare homes and Earth Saviors Foundation, which cares for the homeless, destitute, elderly and disabled. In addition, it supports Shri Jee Khirak Gaushala, a shelter for cows. “Any additional support, either for Doctors for You or other initiatives, would be highly appreciated,” Kumar told India Business Law Journal.

Click here to donate to Doctors for You.

Kanga & Co partner Preeti Mehta responded to the pandemic during her role as president of the Rotary Club of Bombay (July 2019 to June 2020) and continues to remain involved in such activities as the Immediate Past President and member of the club’s Covid-Relief Task Force. The club has focused on providing relief in five key areas: Mental wellbeing (setting up a toll-free counselling and mental wellbeing helpline), food distribution, donation of medical equipment, installation of hand-washing stations and distribution of free rations. The Rotary Club of Bombay is continuing with its covid relief work based on need assessment,” says Mehta. “The need is a lot and we have a long way to go.”

Click here to donate.

MZM Legal, through its charity arm, MZM Care Foundation, has been distributing food packets to families who have lost their income. The firm reports having distributed 10,000 food packets in the past year. Each one can sustain a family of five for a month. In addition, the foundation has provided oxygen cylinders in Pune, Nasik and various parts of Mumbai, where there has been an acute shortage of oxygen in hospitals, and assisted families to locate ICU beds and other medical services. In the coming weeks, the firm plans to work closely with the state government to assist with the vaccination drive. It will set up camps in which senior citizens can get vaccinated.

To find out how to help, email

Delhi-based law firm Singh & Associates has established a war room to provide various families in need with oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and information on refilling plants, all free of charge. The team has been procuring oxygen concentrators in large quantities and distributing them to covid patients. The firm’s founding partner, Manoj Singh, and other volunteers have worked on a range of relief initiatives, including the provision of ambulance services and the distribution of masks, sanitisers, food items, hospital beds, medicines, and covid tests.

To find out how to help, email

Aarna Law has been working with StepOne, a registered trust that co-founding partners Shreyas Jayasimha and Kamala Naganand have been associated with since March 2020. The firm has provided pro bono legal support to StepOne, which runs telemedicine helplines providing free, high-quality medical consultations to members of the public, particularly those without means or resources to access quality healthcare. It currently has 7,000+ empanelled doctors and more than 1,000 volunteers. StepOne is seeking to raise INR2.5 million (US$35,000) to procure ventilators, BiPAP machines and oxygen tanks and to transport them to areas of high demand.

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A group of alumni from Franklin Pierce School of Law in the US and their friends have started a crowdfunding campaign called Coviangels to raise funds to buy oxygen concentrators, medical equipment and medicine for people in need across India. Members of Coviangels include Ekta Asrani, manager legal at Star India, Sujata Chaudhri, founder of Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys, Shrawan Chopra, partner at Anand and Anand, Charu Miglani Grover, associate partner at Saikrishna & Associates, Anju Jain, chief regional counsel at Walt Disney, Abhishek Malhotra, managing partner of TMT Law Practice, Vijayalakshmy Malkani, senior IP, brand protection and food counsel at Hindustan Unilever, Nandan Pendsey, partner at AZB & Partners, Neha Ramani, partner at LexOrbis, Mahua Roy Chowdhury, managing partner of Royzz & Co, Abhishek Sharma, managing partner of Pulastya Legal and others.

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Seema Jhingan, the co-founder of LexCounsel, runs a registered not-for-profit organisation called Parivartan, which helps educate children in socially and economically backward families. With the onset of the pandemic and the resulting lack of face-to-face education, Parivartan tied up with Eduneev Solutions. This organisation has compiled a 4,000-hour library of educational videos. The videos were developed by professional teachers for B-Tech and diploma courses and are customised for 10 Indian states. Parivartan is in an advanced stage of making the videos available free of charge to educational institutions, which in turn will make them available to students. The initiative has the potential to reach more than 1,000 colleges and 700,000 students.

To find out how to help, email

NITYA Tax Associates has launched an initiative called NITYA Cares to support people striving for basic medical facilities and essential commodities. The Delhi-based law firm has set up a series of helplines to connect covid patients with doctors, medicines, medical equipment and oxygen, as required. The firm is also arranging logistical support, such as delivering meals and testing kits to those who need them. The project is being run on a voluntary basis by a team of professionals.

Click here for more information.

In times of adversity, it is often minorities that experience the greatest suffering. For this reason, the Delhi-based IP boutique ZeusIP directed its charitable donations to Sarthak Educational Trust, an NGO working towards the employment, vocational training, skill training and job placement of specially-abled people. ZeusIP’s donation was specifically to help Sarthak procure sanitisation kits, covid safety kits and essential food kits for the specially-abled. ZeusIP also partnered with Pride Circle, an organisation promoting diversity and inclusion that advocates affirmative action for the LGBT+ community in India, and was one of the sponsors of its annual Job Fair – RISE 2021. Finding employment amid the pandemic is more difficult than ever. The job fair provided a platform for applicants from the LGBT+ community to explore various opportunities and apply for roles.

Click here to donate to Sarthak Educational Trust.
Click here to connect with Pride Circle.

Suhrita Majumdar, a partner at S Majumdar & Co, is volunteering with Covid Care Network, a Kolkata-based NGO led by a group of doctors that supports covid patients and their family members. “Several eminent doctors are involved in this project,” says Majumdar. “Some of them have been advising the state government on the protocols during this crisis.” Besides supporting the NGO with funds, Majumdar has been assisting patients with testing, contacting doctors, obtaining oxygen and arranging transportation to hospitals. Many of her friends and associates in India and overseas have donated to the NGO. “It is such a nice feeling to see that all of you around the world are showing concern, says Majumdar. “It gives us the strength to bounce back.”

For details of how to donate to Covid Care Network, contact Suhrita Majumdar at

Nitin Sen, managing partner of Noida-based law firm Lexcellence, has donated assistance and support to covid relief efforts provided by Delhi High Court Bar Association. “We feel a single body can do more than individual lawyers or firms based on the economies of scale principle,” Sen told India Business Law Journal. “They work in real time to support various initiatives depending on the changing requirements on the ground.” One such initiative by Delhi High Court Bar Association has been the provision of online medical consultations for its members.

To find out how to help, please email

Sakate Khaitan, the senior partner at Khaitan Legal Associates, is providing relief through Pratham, one of India’s largest NGOs. Pratham – of which Khaitan is chair of the UK chapter – was founded by Madhav Chavan and Farida Lambay to provide quality education to underprivileged children in India. The NGO is providing immediate humanitarian relief to those affected by the covid crisis in India. It is raising money for oxygen concentrators, rapid tests, personal protective equipment, vaccines and aid for as many people as possible. It is also looking ahead to the challenges people will face as India builds back after the pandemic.

Click here to donate.

Lawyers marshal covid relief efforts
Food rations distributed by Swati Project

Sumeet Kachwaha, the managing partner of Kachwaha & Partners, and his family run an NGO called Swati Project. Established 30 years ago, the project operates in two south Delhi slums and supports education initiatives for children and income generation and motivational projects for women. With the onset of the pandemic, Swati immediately began providing direct aid in the form of food rations, health and hygiene kits and sanitary napkins. The NGO has also launched a series of initiatives to help underprivileged children, including mental health therapy, creative art workshops and free internet access to enable children to participate in online programmes. Kachwaha & Partners partly funds the NGO’s work. Additional funding comes from other donors.

Click here to donate.

Umesh Khaitan, the managing partner of Khaitan & Khaitan, has teamed up with his nephew, Anirudh Birla, the owner of fashion brand AMPM, to provide covid relief. The duo has launched a fundraiser on GiveIndia called A Mission To Help Vaccinate India. It has so far raised INR335,000 (US$4,500) of a target amount of INR10,000,000 (US$137,000). “We have already tied up with three NGOs who are working tirelessly towards making sure that the underprivileged population of India doesn’t get left out of the vaccination process and so our main responsibility is to raise enough funds to support them,” Birla told India Business Law Journal.

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Last but not least, here at India Business Law Journal our company and team members have made a combined donation of US$19,141 through GiveIndia to projects funding the purchase of oxygen and food relief. We have also launched an appeal for our readers and social media followers to make donations.

Click here to help.