A GLASGOW dentist has launched a fundraiser for India’s Covid crisis to help source face masks and other vital items.

Davinder Kalsi, owner of St Vincent Smile located in Finnieston, launched the fundraiser in collaboration with other practice owners across the country.

The fundraiser aims to help send personal protective equipment to India as it fights a major Covid outbreak.

Glasgow Times: Davinder KalsiDavinder Kalsi

Davinder, who has owned his Finnieston practice since July 2019, said: “The fundraiser for the appeal has actually come secondary to our initial idea of sending PPE.

“We knew the struggle of sourcing things like masks and gloves and the huge shortages that are happening so we wanted to send what we had and help anyway we could."

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So far Davinder and his fellow dentists have sources more than £100,000 worth of PPE, including a quarter of a million masks.

Davinder, alongside other dentist practice owners across the country, created the Scottish Dentist Practice Owners group in 2020 to help with the efforts.

During last year’s lockdown, the group worked to supply Scottish care homes and other care facilities with unused PPE such as masks and gloves.

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Davinder said: “In the midst of lockdown, practice buildings were closed but we had a good number of things like masks and gloves.

“We coordinated with dentists across Glasgow and further away to help supply this surplus of PPE to care homes and hospices. The PPE would’ve been sat in an office unused for about a year otherwise.”

Davinder and the group then turned their attentions to the fight against the devastating coronavirus outbreak in India, a country that Davinder has a personal connection to.

He said: “I do have an emotional connection to India - I have a lot of aunties on my dad’s side there and also my wife has family there. Just before the pandemic began, both my wife and I were supposed to attend a medical camp with her dad in India, which would run open health screenings and we were launching the first dentistry camp to help out too, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to travel.

“I think it hits home when you have a connection to someone or somewhere being hit hard by this, and everyone has been affected by Covid or knows someone who has been affected.”

The fundraiser, which has currently raised just under £3,000, will see money sent directly to India to allow health workers to buy PPE directly.

Davinder said: “When we were sourcing PPE for care homes in Glasgow and Scotland, it was a case of actually physically getting a hold of the equipment but logistically, it isn’t possible for us to send the amount of PPE we have across the world.

“We will be sending the money from the fundraiser to India through a charitable trust, but we will be making sure that 100% of the funds raised are being used for masks, gloves and other equipment by asking for invoices.”

To donate to Davinder’s fundraiser, you can find it by clicking here.