Chicagoans make TikTok, educate others about South Asian community during coronavirus outbreak

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The #DontRush TikTok challenge has gained popularity all over the world.

It encourages people to transform their look in a matter of seconds, but these Chicagoans added their own twist.

"We're a young group of South Asian folks," said Nash Alam, one of the people in the TikTok. "We really wanted to build content that we haven't seen online around educating and mobilizing our communities to take action in this moment of crisis."

Alam and six others did the challenge, changing into traditional South Asian clothing while discussing what you can do to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The outfits that we have might be from different regions of South Asia and those communities are being affected too," Tanvi Kapatral said.

"Some of us come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, all over the place," Alam added. "We all agree that these are the basic human rights that everyone should have."

All of them are apart of Chicago Desi Youth Rising, a leadership group that encourages youth to combat racial, social and economic inequality.

As a result, they believe that people should have better access to healthcare. They also want a rent freeze during the pandemic, to help Chicagoans who are struggling to make ends meet.
"We need to see more funding and resources for communities on every level," Alam said.

Kapatral said she hopes their virtual message can also benefit the neighborhoods heavily affected by the virus.

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"The West Ridge/Devon community has been impacted by COVID-19 the most in Chicago," she said. "There have been a lot of cases there, there are a lot of people unemployed or unable to receive stimulus checks because they're undocumented."

In addition to the staggering number of cases within Chicago's African American community, the West Ridge neighborhood has reported more than 500 positive COVID-19 cases.

So these young women will take advantage of any technology they have, to help support their community.

"Everyone's on social media right now and the people that can donate, their worlds have shifted into technology so we figured it would be a way to bridge those communities," Kapatral said.

To learn more about how you can help support Chicago's South Asian community, click here.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the North Side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to
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