This Indian American Harvard Student Helps non-English-speaking Immigrants Fight COVID19

A whopping 67.3 million people speak a language other than English in the United States, according to the US State of Department’s 2018 stats. Among them are Indian immigrants who mostly speak in Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Bengali, Punjabi and other native Indian languages at home. Hindi, Gujarati and Telugu are the most widely spoken Indian languages in the USA.

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To facilitate first-hand access to every minute detail of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic for the non-English speaking populace of the US, Indian American Pooja Chandrashekar has initiated translation of the COIVD19 information into more than 30 languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengal, Punjabi, Urdu, and Tamil.

22-year-old Pooja Chandrashekar whose parents had emigrated from Bangalore, India is a first-year Harvard medical student. Knowing that half knowledge about anything is dangerous, which leads to spiraling of misinformation in communities, Pooja took up the initiative to help the vulnerable section of the non-English speaking immigrant community read and comprehend  the COVID19 facts and figures in the languages they speak and understand effortlessly.

Pooja Chandrashekar’s ‘COVID19 Health Literacy Project’ is aimed at containing the COVID19 spread by providing the community-based organizations with accurate information about the current global health crisis in native Indian languages. The lack of easily comprehensible medical information about Novel Coronavirus in languages other than English does actually spur the proliferation of the deadly virus.

In no time, over 150 medical students from 35 institutions across the United States joined Pooja Chandrashekar’s COVID19 Health Literacy Project in translating the COIVD19 information and curbing the spread of the pandemic.

Pooja, a resident of Virginia and her countrywide team pooled the most useful information from several government agencies including CDC. They simplified and summarized it before passing it on to several community organizations in various Indian languages, as well as Spanish, French, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Russian, Malay, German, Vietnamese, and Italian. The condensed materials, verified by medical experts, on dos and don’ts of COVID19 prevention are also available for download in different languages from the COVID19 Health Literacy website.

A Harvard graduate in biomedical engineering and global health policy, Pooja Chandrashekar has been to India on Fulbright Scholarship in public health research on rural students with learning disabilities. She is focused on getting the best of the intersection of healthcare and technology to help autistic adolescents improve their interpersonal skills. She is also committed to developing a system that leverages artificial intelligence to predict an impending environmental crisis. Clinical data science and medical device development are among her research interests. She is known for identifying high-risk patients in vulnerable communities.

A new technology that Virginia-based Pooja Chandrashekar has developed to help diagnose mild traumatic brain injuries in athletes and military individuals is currently under clinical trials at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in DC.

This story is part of our continued effort at Indian Eagle to promote good work for noble causes by Indians in USA.  We not only strive to make US to India air travel booking cheaper and easier but also cater inspiring stories, latest community news, and travel updates to Indian Americans through our free newsletters.

One thought on “This Indian American Harvard Student Helps non-English-speaking Immigrants Fight COVID19

  1. Chitralekha

    Greta job Pooja.

    How can we contact her? My daughter a Junior in GWU,USA wants to help too.


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