From Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan to Chiranjeevi and Prabhas, Indian film biggies are stepping forward to do their work for migrants, daily wage workers, and those from their own industry face unemployment and almost starving in an unprecedented pan-Indian lockdown. When COVID-19 spread, star groups, filmmakers and musicians were among the most prosperous in the country, contributing money, food, and medical supplies and, in some cases, offering their property to be used as quarantine centers. They are also innovative, raising money through online concerts and throwing virtual dates.
Grandfather Star, Amitabh Bachchan, has pledged a monthly ration to support 1,00,000 daily wage-worker households, including spot boys and makeup artists, belonging to the All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC). Bachchan, one of the most followed stars in India, also did little to spread awareness and was part of a short film about social distance called “Family”. The film was made in collaboration with stars from Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinemas.
With the shooting canceled and not knowing when the audience will feel confident enough to return to the cinema, lakhs of people who depend on the film industry are on the verge of capital punishment.
Superstar Salman Khan was one of the earliest celebrities who understood that a lack of shooting would leave many people unemployed. He promised to directly help 25,000 FWICE daily wage artists every month through the Being Human Foundation. “We have around five lakh workers out of 25,000 who need financial assistance. “Being Human Foundation said that they will take care of these workers themselves … they make sure the money reaches them directly,” FWICE B president N Tiwari told PTI in an earlier interview.
The actor also asked fans to donate food to the needy and was seen loading ration packages on tractors and oxcarts to be sent to villages near the Panvel farmhouse, where he has been since the lockup began on March 25.
His superstar colleague, Shah Rukh went further by announcing a series of initiatives with his wife Gauri Khan and his business partners in addition to donating PM-CARES funds through actor and actor Juhi Chawla. IPL Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.
Their ‘package’ of assistance includes ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE) contributions for frontline health workers, daily meals for 5,500 families in Mumbai, food supplies for 10,000 people per day, and basic necessities for 2,500 daily wage workers and basic and shopping needs for 2,500 workers in the national capital.
Shah Rukh and Gauri also offered their four-story office on the outskirts of Mumbai to local civil authorities to help expand quarantine facilities in the city.
“This crisis will not happen in a hurry, it will take time and sacrifice for all of us. It will also show us that there really is no choice between seeing ourselves and looking at each other.
“Nothing is more clear in the spread of this pandemic, other than the fact that each of us is related to one another, without any difference,” the actor said in a statement last month when announcing a charity initiative.
With national locking in the fourth phase and the number of COVID-19 Indian cases crossing 1.3 lakhs with more than 3,800 deaths, other stars also dug deep into their pockets.
Akshay Kumar donated Rs 25 crore to PM-CARES funds to help fight the virus in March apart from Rs 2 crore’s contribution to the Mumbai Police and other charitable contributions.
Ajay Devgn and filmmaker Rohit Shetty has donated Rs 51 lakh each to daily wage workers in the film industry.
In addition, Hrithik Roshan, Vidya Balan, Farhan Akhtar, Sonu Sood and Sonakshi are among those who have given money for PPE kits and food for health professionals and other health workers.
Like Shah Rukh, Sood has also offered his hotel in the city for health workers, including doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff, to stay overnight.
He has also delivered food to underprivileged people in Mumbai.
But that’s not all.
Troubled by pictures of lakh migrant workers who went to their homes on foot with little or no food, the actor decided to help them reach the house.
Sood facilitated several buses for hundreds of stranded workers in Mumbai so that they could return to their homes in countries such as Karnataka, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
He has also helped those who reach him through social media. “I will continue to send migrants home until the last migrant reunites with his family and loved ones. “This is something very close to my heart and I will give everything,” the 46-year-old said in a statement.
Bollywood stars also raised funds through a high profile charity concert “I for India” held earlier this month to raise funds for frontline workers.
A digital concert, featuring 85 Indian and global stars like Will Smith, Nick Jonas, Shah Rukh and Priyanka Chopra, raised Rs 52 crore.
And actor Arjun Kapoor offers virtual dating to raise funds for charity in addition to personal donations.
In the south, the actor “Baahubali” Prabhas has given Rs 4 crore – Rs 3 crore to the PM National Assistance Fund and Rs 50 lakh each for each of the relief funds from Andhra Pradesh and the chief minister of Telangana.
Telugu superstar Pawan Kalyan donated Rs 1 crore to the PM’s aid fund and Rs 50 lakh each for Andhra Pradesh and CM Telangana’s relief fund.
Actor Ram Charan and his father Chiranjeevi donated Rs 70 lakhs and Rs 1 crore to the state charity and center.
Telugu star Allu Arjun donated Rs 1. 25 crore for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala relief funds and in addition, Rs 20 lakh for Corona Crisis Charity which was founded by Cheerajivi to help daily wage workers in the southern film industry.
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