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For the Indian diaspora living in Japan, the end of April was heavy with news of loved ones in India infected with COVID-19, feeling helpless thousands of miles away from home as India’s health system collapsed in a second wave of the pandemic.

Wanting to help, Indian communities from around the world have been sending oxygen concentrators — the need of the hour — to India, through various channels. But when Indians in Japan tried to do the same, they faced several challenges, due to relatively fewer business channels, and the fact that doing such a thing was perhaps unprecedented.

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