We for India: Ed Sheeran and Nancy Ajram join Bollywood stars for Covid-19 fundraiser

The event will feature more than 100 celebrities from around the world and stream live on India's Independence Day

Global stars Ed Sheeran and Mick Jagger will join Arab pop princess Nancy Ajram, as well as some of the biggest Bollywood stars, for a “videothon” on India’s Independence Day, to help the country’s Covid-19 relief efforts.

We For India: Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods will broadcast on Facebook on August 15 and aim to raise $3.5 million for Covid-19 pandemic missions and to provide preventive measures against future waves, organisers said.

The event will feature musical performances, stand-up comedy, games and fitness challenges, as well as interactions with frontline heroes.

Sheeran, Jagger and Ajram will perform and so will Annie Lennox, along with her daughter Lola Lennox. Other performers include Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, Nile Rodgers, the co-founder of Chic, and Sister Sledge featuring Sledgendary.

Acclaimed Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao will host the event, while Saif Ali Khan, Sara Ali Khan, Ajay Devgn, Parineeti Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza and Karan Johar will all make appearances.

Altered Carbon star Dina Shihabi, author Jay Shetty and Nigerian actress Ini Dima-Okojie, known for her role in the Netflix film Namaste Wahala, will also participate.

“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, a social impact enterprise in London that is behind the event.

epa07730336 Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram performs during the 2019 Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts at the Jerash archeological site, Jerash, some 46 km North of Amman, Jordan, 20 July 2019. The Jerash festival takes part from 18 to 27 July 2019.  EPA/ANDRE PAIN

“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 GiveIndia, Mudhar said.

Funds donated will be utilised to provide critical facilities such as oxygen concentrators, cylinders, ventilators and essential medicines, as well as ICU units.

Funds will also go towards supporting the staffing of vaccination centres and long-term public recovery. It will also go into rebuilding livelihoods such as those thrust into poverty owing to a decline in earnings and complete loss of income. Humanitarian efforts in the form of meal and ration kits will be provided to rural and urban families hit financially by the pandemic. Cash relief will be provided to families who have lost an immediate member.

“This is one of the largest co-ordinated 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,” said Mudhar.

We For India: Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods will be live on Facebook on Sunday, August 15, at 7.30pm India time

Updated: August 9th 2021, 2:08 PM
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