We For India: Ed Sheeran and Mick Jagger join Bollywood stars to raise funds for Covid relief in India

The event will take place on India’s 75th Independence Day

Peony Hirwani
Tuesday 10 August 2021 09:54 BST
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India: Bodies of Covid patients left in empty ICU after hospital runs out of oxygen

Ed Sheeran and Mick Jagger will be joining Bollywood stars at a virtual fundraising event on India’s 75th Independence Day to help raise funds for Covidrelief in the country.

The three-hour event, called We For India: Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods, will take place on Sunday, 15 August, and will be live-streamed globally over Facebook.

The event, which hopes to raise donations upward of $3.5 million (£ 2.5m), will be hosted by Indian actor Rajkummar Rao, the star of the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated film The White Tiger.

According to a press release: “All the donations will be allocated to post Covid-19 pandemic missions and provide vital preventative measures against future waves.”

The funds will also provide “critical facilities such as oxygen concentrators, cylinders, ventilators, and essential medicines as well as ICU units.”

The donations will also be mobilised to support “long-term public recovery” and “rebuild livelihoods such as those thrust into poverty due to a decline in earnings and complete loss of income.”

“Humanitarian efforts in the form of meal and ration kits will be provided to the rural and urban families hit financially by the pandemic, and cash relief will be provided to families who have lost an immediate member,” the press release stated.

The line-up of attendees consists of over 100 celebrities from the film, music, comedy, and sports industries.

Two-times Academy Award-winning musician AR Rahman and American guitarist Nile Rodgers will perform at the event.

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Indian films stars, including Toofaan actor Farhan Akhtar, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, award-winning storyteller Jay Shetty, and filmmaker Karan Johar, are also attending.

The event is conceptualised by the global social impact enterprise The World We Want, produced in association with Reliance Entertainment with funds being deployed by the GiveIndia Foundation.

“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,” the founder of The World We Want, Natasha Mudhar says.

“We believe in the power that lies in global solidarity when everyone, everywhere comes together in a collective effort to create change. 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.”

She added: “This is one of the largest coordinated efforts to raise support to address the impact of the pandemic. Together, we can prevent this health crisis from having a lasting impact, including extreme poverty and hunger. We For India is a clarion call that we are all with India – side by side.”

A leading Indian scientist who has been forecasting a third wave of Covid-19 in the country says India’s pandemic situation is now “getting worse” and that the rising daily death load is “worrying”.

The Delta variant of coronavirus has been detected in at least 80 per cent of samples collected in Delhi in the last three months, the city’s government announced.

At the moment, there are 3,88,508 active Covid-19 cases in the country, with 4,28,682 total deaths.

Read our live Covid blog here.

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