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A fundraiser hosted by Lara Dutta and Shayamal Vallabhjee is hoping to raise $1 million for COVID crisis relief in India.
Across two hours, prominent names like Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar, Anupam Kher, Faye D’Souza, Rishabh Pant, and R Ashwin will make an appearance to join conversations, recite poetry, and more.
It is set to take place on Sunday, 9 May, at 6:00 PM IST and will be live-streamed on YouTube and Twitter.
The fundraiser I Breathe For India has been created in association with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a not-for-profit from Silicon Valley. For every rupee donated, event donor TiE will match it up to $1 million.
The funds will go towards procurement and distribution of medical supplies, humanitarian aid, and setting up vaccination and isolation centres.
“There’s a real humanitarian crisis going on in India right now, and we wanted to find a way to show solidarity and support,” explained Amit Gupta, President of TiE Singapore.
They have partnered with Swasth and Mission Oxygen, verified NGO’s on the ground, to procure oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and other crucial supplies.
According to Amit, the not-for-profit hopes this will assist supply chains in the country and provide opportunities for India to be prepared, knowing the potential for a new wave.
“Nobody is removed from the situation. Doctors and nurses are putting their lives at risk, but there are too many people who are sick in India. We saw how healthcare systems collapsed in other parts of the world, it was crucial to help out. Our core ethos at TiE, as a network of entrepreneurs and investors, is giving back to the community,” he told Indian Link.
Partnered with IITAAS (IIT Alumni Association of Singapore), they are optimistic that they will be able to raise at least INR 25 crore (around $3.3 million) towards COVID crisis relief in India.
“The 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. Children have lost their parents and some families have lost their primary breadwinners. India is reeling under a medical crisis and requires our help more than ever,” said event host Lara Datta.
“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.”
So what can people expect from the virtual fundraiser?
“It will open with a poem read by Amitabh Bachchan, written by his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and conclude with a meditation session with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” Amit elaborated.
Other names attached to the fundraiser include Anil Kapoor, Sania Mirza, Shikhar Dawan, A R Rahman, and Rana Daggubati.
Working with fundraising platforms Giving.sg and Milaap, this is among numerous activities run as part of TiE Singapore’s Mission India initiative. They will continue till 12 May. In the span of three days, the initiative had already raised almost $100,000.
For Amit, a Kiwi-Indian based in Singapore, this all boils down to a crucial effort to stand with India in this difficult time.
“When you’re an Indian living away from home, it’s a fortunate situation, but it can be hard to stay in touch with what’s happening on the ground in India… I really believe that the more you give, the more you get back. I urge people to donate generously and help India through this crisis,” he said.
You can learn more about the fundraiser here.
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