As India continues to struggle with a rapid rise in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths, a growing number of celebrities are stepping up and offering what help they can.
Some are sharing their talents, providing livestreams of conversation series, workout sessions, culinary classes and concerts to keep fans entertained. While others are donating not only their time, but their tremendous resources to benefit those who are less privileged, especially during a global pandemic when the entire world is facing humanity's biggest crisis.
Here's a look at the celebrities who serve as a reminder to use privilege and societal standing to help support the less fortunate among us.
Sonu Sood is one of very few Bollywood celebrities who is putting his privilege to good use, helping thousands of stranded migrant workers, who have had their livelihoods severely impacted by COVID-19, return home. The 46-year-old actor, who is best known for his roles in films such as Singh is Kinng, Simmba and Dabangg, is being hailed "a hero" all over social media for arranging hassle-free passage of migrant labourers to their respective hometowns. The actor also sponsored the meal kits for the migrants, and donated over 1,500 PPE kits to doctors across Punjab. He had also provided his Mumbai hotel for the accommodation of the medical forces. In fact, Sonu has launched a toll free number - 18001213711 - through which one can reach out to his team for help.
Vikas Khanna Vikas Khanna, a Michelin-starred chef, has been trying to avoid catastrophe by keeping India fed in this health crisis. He has emerged as a real-life hero for hundreds of thousands of people across the country. The chef has distributed millions of dry ration meals to the needy across 79 cities in India. Khanna, living in New York City, began an initiative in April to create a supply chain to ensure dry ration is procured and distributed to the elderly and struggling families. In less than one-and-a-half month, Khanna has been able to procure and distribute over nine million dry ration meals, including rice, lentils and wheat flour, to orphanages and old-age homes and other needy individuals.
UPDATE - June 8th. 2020. Later in the day we would cross 10 Million Meals (Cooked & Dry Ration). This could only happen because of your faith in #FeedIndia I want to dedicate this moment to one of the World’s Most Celebrated Chefs @ericripert & @SandraRipert THANK YOU CHEF 🕊 pic.twitter.com/AMHXINIwFN — Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) June 8, 2020
Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan continues to inspire us all in these scary times whether it's by sharing videos of himself advising fans to stay home and practice social distancing or making generous contributions to relief efforts. The Bollywood superstar provided 25,000 PPE kits to the frontline medical staff in Maharashtra fighting to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic in the state. The actor, along with wife Gauri Khan, also offered their four-storey personal office space for treating COVID-19 patients in Mumbai. In addition, his NGO Meer Foundation is working work with the Maharashtra and West Bengal governments for the supply of 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the healthcare professionals.
In these times it’s imp to make everyone around u working tirelessly for u.. not related to u.. perhaps even unknown to u... to feel they are not alone and by themselves. Let’s just make sure we all do our little bit to look after each other. India and all Indians are One Family. https://t.co/LWz4wQGaPe — Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 2, 2020
Salman Khan Salman Khan has also been trying to make a positive impact and give back to those in need. The actor has donated money for specially-abled workers in the film industry, in addition to all the other donations that he has been making amid the coronavirus lockdown that has stalled all businesses including showbiz. Salman had also extended financial support for 25,000 daily wage workers of the film industry, and donated one lakh hand sanitisers to the Mumbai Police, who are at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus pandemic. Recently, the Bollywood superstar initiated 'Being Haangryy'- food truck facility to distribute, provide ration to needy. He also supplied ration to the villages near his Panvel farmhouse and urged his fans to help those in need.
Thank u 🙏 @CMOMaharashtra @Iamrahulkanal @MumbaiPolice #IndiaFightsCorona https://t.co/GtBL3UrTWC — Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) May 30, 2020
Akshay Kumar has made sizeable donations of both cash and resources to various causes during the pandemic. The Bollywood superstar donated Rs 25 crore to PM-CARES Fund, an additional Rs 2 crore to the Mumbai Police Foundation, and Rs 3 crore to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to assist in the making of personal protection equipment, masks and rapid testing kits to help the battle against the novel coronavirus. He also contributed Rs 45 lakh to the Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA), to help daily wage workers in the industry. Akshay also donated 1,500 smartwatches that track symptoms of the deadly virus to the Mumbai and Nashik police.
As #IndiaFightsCorona,a short film from me to you about getting back to work but only when ur city/state officials advise you to do so.And don’t forget to do it safely!चलो India,बदलकर अपना व्यवहार,करें कोरोना पर वारl #SwachhBharatSwasthBharat@narendramodi @PMOIndia @swachhbharat pic.twitter.com/HFJ1OswoOl — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 4, 2020
Ajay Devgn Ajay donated Rs 51 lakh to Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) in order to support the daily wage workers from the film industry. He is also helping 700 families in Dharavi with ration and hygiene kits, and has donated oxygen cylinders and two portable ventilators for a 200-bed field hospital in India's largest slum.
Dharavi is at the epicentre of the Covid19 outbreak.Many citizens supported by MCGM are working tirelessly on ground through NGOs to provide the needy with ration & hygiene kits. We at ADFF are helping 700 families.I urge you to also donatehttps://t.co/t4YVrIHg3M#MissionDharavi — Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) May 27, 2020
Farah Khan and Anya Kunder
You've probably heard the saying "children are our future," and the statement stands true for Bollywood choreographer and filmmaker Farah Khan's daughter Anya. Anya has been making pencil sketches and auctioning them to raise funds to feed the stray animals and needy families, who are finding it hard to find food during the coronavirus pandemic. Among those praising her efforts and commissioning sketches are Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Zoya Akhtar, Tahira Kashyap, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonu Sood, just to name a few. Farah’s close friend and actor, Abhishek Bachchan also contributed to her initiative and bought one of her sketches for Rs 1 lakh to help the cause. Meanwhile, Farah has collaborated with chef Vikas Khanna to donate 72,000 sanitary pads to women migrant workers.
Mohit Chauhan Mohit Chauhan has made feeding stray dogs part of his routine. The Bollywood playback singer has been feeding as many as 100 strays daily in the national capital amid lockdown. Mohit is also actively sharing pictures of him feeding the dogs on social media in order to encourage people to find ways to feed the street animals.
Our Day 74 of #feedingstrays in #Delhi. Parks are open n walkers r back. But d original feeders of these furry friends haven't turned up. So we continue 2 give them food n water. Hope u guys 2 r looking after stray animals around u. #AnimalsArePeopleToo #stayhome #lockdownindia pic.twitter.com/MYg93UwfOp — Mohit Chauhan (@_MohitChauhan) June 7, 2020