Bollywood stars, athletes to raise funds in virtual event for India amid second wave of Covid-19 cases

The two-hour fund-raiser hopes to raise $1.3 million by May 12 for critical medical supplies.
The two-hour fund-raiser hopes to raise $1.3 million by May 12 for critical medical supplies.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A host of Indian celebrities are coming together to raise money for India, which is experiencing a devastating second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Hosted by actress Lara Dutta and performance coach Shayamal Vallabhjee, the virtual fund-raising event I Breathe For India will be held on Sunday (May 9), 8.30pm, and live-streamed on various social media sites, including YouTube and Twitter.

Other stars involved in this celebrity fund-raiser include Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar, Anil Kapoor and Rana Daggubati, producer and film composer A. R. Rahman, tennis player Sania Mirza, cricketers Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan, among other big names.

One of the most influential actors in India, Bachchan will recite a poem by his father, poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, while the others will be rallying support for the cause.

Dutta - who was crowned Miss Universe in 2000 - said in a press release: "The Covid-19 crisis in India has left people literally gasping for air. People are dying outside hospitals due to a lack of beds and oxygen on a daily basis and these are under-reported figures.

"I am blessed and fortunate to be able to play my part in ensuring that together with my fellow colleagues from the film industry, we will do whatever it takes to overcome this crisis."

The two-hour event hopes to raise US$1 million (S$1.3 million) by Wednesday (May 12) for critical medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators and cylinders, as well as to help set up medical infrastructure and oxygen plants in hospitals.

The celebrity fund-raiser is organised by the Singapore chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs, a global entrepreneur and investor foundation, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Association Singapore.

The Indus Entrepreneurs Singapore launched Mission India last Thursday (April 29) and has already raised more than $150,000 on its crowdfunding pages on Giving.sg and Milaap.

Every donation towards the I Breathe For India fund-raiser will be matched by The Indus Entrepreneurs.

More details on the fund-raiser can be found here.