'I For India' raises Rs. 3.5 crore for COVID-19 relief
I For India, the country's largest fundraiser concert for COVID-19 pandemic, raised Rs. 3.5 crore last night. The one-of-its-kind virtual concert, managed by non-profit organization GiveIndia, featured more than 80 international and Indian film and sports stars, including Jonas Brothers, Bryan Adams, Mindy Kaling, among others. The digital concert also paid tribute to late Bollywood actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor.
The I For India concert was held to: 1) Entertain people locked down in their homes due to the COVID-19. 2) Pay tribute to medical and security personnel fighting the pandemic. 3) Raise funds to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for healthcare workers, and provide food, ration and cash relief for daily wage earners and migrant workers across the country.
Hollywood actor Will Smith said, "India holds a really warm and special place in my heart. My family and I have spent a lot of time there and it's really like a home away from home for me." "In these dark and difficult times, there are hundred and thousands of migrants going without income, food and homes... Please participate if you can," he added.
Shah Rukh Khan first cracked a joke about his singing ability. Then, he went on to sing a quirky song Sab Sahi Ho Jayega. SRK's son AbRam also made a cameo in the song, and at one point told him, "Papa, it's enough."
Priyanka Chopra Jonas took the opportunity to hail healthcare professionals and condemned attacks against COVID-19 warriors. She said, "This is our new normal. We have to stay away from each other, but we are together in hearts. But what about those who can't wait out at home." "We have to let professionals do their job, and we have to let patients heal," she added.
Actor Jack Black also made an appearance during the concert, saying that the world needs to come together to fight the pandemic. "I am going to give to I for India. We got to work together. The whole world needs to work together. We are going to get through this. Much love to our brothers and sisters in India," the actor added.
"My heart breaks for those whose lives have been affected by it (COVID-19 and lockdown)," said Nick Jonas, before performing his hit track Jealous. Meanwhile, appealing fans to make a donation, comic Russell Peters joked, "If ever I get kicked out of North America, you will see me performing live there (in India)." Comedian/actor Mindy Kaling sent love to "brothers and sisters in India".
Veteran actor Shabana Azmi said, "This is time for us to introspect. It's time to shed our prejudices. It's time to come together in kinship and harmony. I hope this will lead to a new world order, which is just... and in sync with nature."
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor stressed on the need to stay connected during the ongoing crisis. Saif said, "Some of us are more comfortable, it's our duty to help the less privileged, not only financially but also emotionally." "Thanks to technology, we can connect with our people across the world...I hope and pray all of you can refresh your old ties," Kareena said.
Music maestro AR Rahman said, "Art has the power to change and inspire. Let us stand for those who aren't privileged. Let us show we care." The musician went on to perform O Aashiqa from his upcoming movie 99 Songs, which is his debut production.
Other stars who participated were Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Kartik Aaryan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai. Singers like Papon, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, rapper Divine, Badshah also performed in the concert. Ayushmann Khurrana, Dia Mirza, Bhumi Pednekar, Katrina Kaif, Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Tiger Shroff, Vicky Kaushal, and Ranveer Singh also urged fans to make a donation.
If you wish to make a donation, head to: https://www.facebook.com/donate/878714602647054/ and click on "Donate" button. If you want to pay using UPI mode, go to https://pages.razorpay.com/IforIndia. All proceeds will go towards charities and NGOs working to fight the coronavirus pandemic across India. At the time of press, the I For India initiative had raised Rs. 3,62,69,430 with donations from more than 14,000 people.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc all around the world. The disease is spreading rapidly in India. It has so far killed 1,391 in the country and infected more than 42,000.