Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram, and English singer-songwriters Ed Sheeran and Sir Mick Jagger are joining forces with Bollywood actors to raise funds for Covid-19 relief in India. The stars are a part of the virtual fundraising event titled We For India: Saving Lives, set to take place on India’s Independence Day (August 15), in both London and Mumbai. The three-hour event, ran by social impact enterprise The World We Want, will be live-streamed over Facebook.
Aiming to raise US $3.5 million to provide preventive measures against future waves of the virus, the event includes musical performances, stand-up comedy, and fitness challenges, alongside interactions with frontline workers. Featuring Indian motivational speaker Jay Shetty, Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, American guitarist Nile Rodgers, and over 80 Indian performers such as composer AR Rahman, the event will be hosted by Rajkummar Rao, star of Oscar-nominated film The White Tiger.
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“The world has been stunned by stories of families torn apart by the loss of loved ones and businesses forced to close, plunging thousands into poverty. We believe in the power that lies in global solidarity when everyone, everywhere comes together in a collective effort to create change,” said Natasha Mudhar, founder of The World We Want. She added, “Leveraging the power of popular culture, we hope We For India will entertain and inspire action, encouraging the global population to act now to raise vital funds to not only save lives but to restore, rebuild, and renew lives devastated by the crisis.”
All proceeds from the event will go to nonprofit organization GiveIndia. Funds donated will provide facilities such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, essential medicines, and ICU units. They will also go towards supporting the staffing of vaccination centers and helping those who have been thrust into poverty by the virus. Hospital admissions soared in India during a deadly second Covid-19 wave this spring and summer, with many turning to crowdfunds to pay their steep medical bills. India’s government aims to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of 2021.