Here’s how Bollywood is lending a helping hand in the fight against coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has put the entire country in a state of lockdown. While the virus has impacted every sector, the economic and social fallout on the migrant workers is huge. The immediate loss of wage due to the closure of industries and unavailability of transport have forced most workers to return to their villages on foot. Also, unhygienic living conditions and limited access to health support make the workers particularly vulnerable to catching the virus.
The government has taken steps to curb the further spread of the outbreak, along with providing economic relief packages.
At the same time, the Indian film industry has also stepped up to fight coronavirus and help the country combat the ongoing pandemic by donating both funds and medical supplies.
Here’s a list of Bollywood stars who are helping the society in this time of need:
Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has not only donated to various charity organisations, but also offered his hotel in Juhu to feed 25,000 migrants during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan.
Further, he facilitated 11 buses for hundreds of migrants stuck in the city due to the nationwide lockdown. On May 11, with permission from the Karnataka and Maharashtra governments, around 350 workers were transported by these buses to Karnataka.
"It was really moving for me to watch these migrants walking on roads including the little kids and old parents. I shall continue doing the same for other states as well to the best of my abilities," Sonu said in a statement.
In addition, he is planning to do the same for the workers from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.
The 46-year-old actor had also donated over 1,500 PPE kits to doctors across Punjab.
Shah Rukh Khan
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been at the forefront of providing help in any way he can as India fights COVID-19. Earlier, in April, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan offered their four-storey office space located in Khar West suburb of Mumbai to help expand quarantine facilities for the infected.
He also announced initiatives on several other fronts, including the contribution of 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits to frontline workers, daily food provision for 5,500 families in Mumbai, three lakh meal kits for 10,000 people, and essentials for 2,500 daily-wage workers.
“At a time when the human race is facing an immense crisis, there can only be one true response. This is a moment for all of us to come together in a collective effort to make each other kinder, stronger and braver to face the days ahead, ” the actor posted on Twitter.
Being the first Bollywood star to step up by donating Rs 25 crore to PM-CARES fund, the ‘Khiladi’ actor has done a lot to help the frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. He has contributed another Rs 3 crore to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Recently, Akshay donated 1,000 wrist bands to Mumbai police which would help them in early detection of the virus. Mumbai Police will be the first law enforcement organisation in the world enabled to remotely track and manage the health of its personnel with the preventive health platform.
The actor has been financially helping 7,000 daily wage workers of the Indian film industry who have been rendered jobless due to the lockdown. In April, the megastar started the “Anna Daan” challenge through which he plans to help the underprivileged who are worst affected by the lockdown. The 54-year-old actor has urged his followers to be a part of this campaign and help in all possible ways.
Khan took to Twitter and posted a picture of his two close friends – Baba Siddiqui and Zeeshan Siddiqui – who have distributed ration to 125,000 families as a part of this challenge.
He also thanked his other Bollywood friends who have been a part of this challenge. Here is a small snippet of the video where rations are being sent to the villagers.
Vidya Balan and Sonakshi Sinha
The powerhouse performer Vidya Balan has stepped up in support of COVID-19 warriors. Earlier, in April, she donated around 1,000 PPE kits for doctors who are relentlessly working to help save the lives of those suffering. She also partnered with celebrity shoutout platform Tring to raise funds to donate another 1,000 PPE kits.
She posted about the same on Instagram and captioned:
“Namaste, it is critical that we provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits to our healthcare workers for their protection in this #WarAgainstCovid19. For your contribution, I will send you a personal thank you video message recognising your generosity. This video will be in permanent memory with you.”
Actress Sonakshi Sinha has also collaborated with Tring to raise PPE kits for healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the 32-year-old actor urged her fans to come forward to help the healthcare staff.
"Our doctors, nurses, and all the health care professionals are putting their lives in danger to protect us and take care of all the patients. Unfortunately, hospitals are facing a shortage of PPE kits which is putting the lives of all our medical staff at risk. Through his campaign, I am urging all my fans to come forward and donate PPE kits which will be directly reaching the hospitals that require them. It is the need of the hour and I hope we all can come together and fight this war," Sonakshi said.
Many other filmmakers and actors, including Karan Johar, Taapsee Pannu, Ayushmann Khurrana, Ananya Panday, etc, have pledged their support to a new initiative ‘I Stand With Humanity’, which was started by the Art of Living Foundation and the Indian Film and Television Industry. It aims to support the daily wage-earners who have been severely affected by the lockdown imposed to combat coronavirus.
Edited by Kanishk Singh