OTTAWA -- The ongoing healthcare crisis in India has prompted a group of university students in Ottawa to start a COVID-19 relief movement.

They hope to raise $10,000 to send medical supplies to India as the healthcare system is overrun by COVID-19 cases.

The COVID-19 health crisis in India hits close to home for Elisha Chadha.

"We lost a couple family members ourselves," said the 18-year-old University of Ottawa student. "I was really shook, I couldn’t believe this was happening to my home country."

Chadha’s parents were both born in India, and it's been hard to watch the country’s COVID-19 numbers swell in recent months. India has reported more than 21.8 million confirmed infections and nearly 240,000 deaths.

Chadha's wanted to do something to respond to the critical COVID-19 situation.

"We started a GoFundMe (page)," said Chadha. "Essentially it is directly linked to SEWA Canada International Inc. - a not for profit that has responded to the healthcare crisis."

The University of Ottawa student is a member of the student-run group MedLife. Last summer they raised money to support COVID-19 relief in South America.

"I figured if we were able to raise $10,000 that time, we can definitely do it now,” she said, hoping to hit that same goal.

So far the group has raised nearly $2,000. Proceeds will go to supplying medical supplies, ventilators, and essential kits to vulnerable communities in India.

Hoping to do their part to offer some relief.

"Even if we save one life that would mean a lot," she said. 

For more information, visit the MedLife uOttawa Facebook page