OC restaurants donating 100% of sales this week to COVID relief efforts in India

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Two Orange County restaurants are donating 100% of this week's sales toward COVID-19 relief efforts in India, as calls for help are more urgent than ever.

India's cities are running out of oxygen for COVID patients. Authorities say patients are suffocating to death. India's Health Ministry reported 360,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, and more than 3,700 deaths.

Since the pandemic began, India has seen nearly 23 million infections and more than 246,000 deaths, and expert say both almost certainly undercounts.

The COVID crisis in India is personal for business partners Sandeep Basrur and Shachi Mehra. The two are chefs at Adya in Irvine and Anaheim and both have family and friends in India.

"My father, my sister, cousins, so this cause is a little more close to my heart," Basrur said.

"It is a scary time just for everyone there with what's going on. There's so much and it's so dire," Mehra said.

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The U.S. will restrict travel from India starting May 4, the White House said Friday, citing a devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.

"Even though it's not the best time for us, but we had to do something. We just couldn't sit idle," Basrur added.

The two chefs are asking their community for support to help the American India Foundation with its COVID-19 relief efforts.

"Getting oxygen concentrators, building field hospitals, they're already doing all that stuff, so we're just adding to that," Mehra said.

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India's daily COVID-19 death toll surpassed 4,000 for the first time on Saturday, with Tamil Nadu becoming the latest state to announce a complete lockdown to curb surging infections.

One-hundred percent of restaurant sales from both locations this week are going to the nonprofit.

"It's amazing to me that they're doing 100% of donating," said customer Jane Herron.

When Herron and her friend Merrilee Gardner heard they could help by having lunch at the eatery, their date was set at Adya.

"I just want to help out, because people are suffering, and it could just as easily be us," Gardner said.

The fundraiser goes through Sunday.

Adya - Anaheim Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd. Unit 201
Anaheim, CA 92805

(714) 533-2392

Adya - Irvine - University Center
4213 Campus Dr., #P-166D
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 679-2299

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