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Varun Dhawan and Farhan Akhtar Image Credit: IANS

Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Farhan Akhtar are the latest celebrities who have stepped up to aid COVID-19 relief efforts in India as cases surge exponentially in the country.

Dhawan has donated money towards procuring oxygen concentrators for hospitals as part of the Mission Oxygen India initiative that has seen the likes of Sachin Tendulkar also contribute.

“During uncertain times like these, our healthcare system needs utmost help. Since we know that oxygen is the need of the hour, I have contributed and partnered with @MissionOxygenIndia in their initiative to procure and donate lifesaving oxygen concentrators to hospitals across the country,” Dhawan shared in a statement on social media.

“As a group of 30 something individuals who have managed to step up for the country in this time of need and raise over Rs21 crores for the procurement of 3,900 OCs in under a week. I resonate deeply with their cause and urge everyone to help in whatever capacity possible. The first shipment of oxygen concentrators arrived in the country and they have already been allocated across 14 hospitals,” he further added.

Dhawan also shared an emotional note even as India’s cases crossed 400,000 over the weekend.

“If we all survive this, as I hope we shall, remember that when it came down to it, we didn’t fight for land or weapons or house or jewellery. We didn’t fight for concert tickets or fancy designations or religions or politics. We didn’t fight for shares in a company or a seat at the table. We didn’t fight for business class tickets or the keys to a house by the beach. When all this is over, remember, that we fought for air,” he wrote in a message on Twitter.

Elsewhere, Akhtar and his company Excel Entertainment has also pitched in to donate money to NGOs that are providing medical aid to patients in need. The actor-director also shared a list of names on Twitter as well.

“Sharing a list of organisations that @excelmovies has donated to thus far, in the fight against COVID-19. From oxygen to ambulances to food, they are doing some incredible work on the ground. Encourage you to do your bit to help. Every rupee matters. Jai Hind. @ritesh_sid,” he posted.

The second wave of coronavirus has seen the death toll in India cross 200,000. Several celebrities such as Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna have stepped up to help by donating 100 oxygen concentrators.

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Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna Image Credit: IANS

Salman Khan has launched a food truck to feed frontline workers in Mumbai, while Suniel Shetty is also donating oxygen concentrators to the homes of BPL individuals and families.

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Actor Ayushmann Khurrana and his wife Tahira Kashyap came forward to contribute to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Relief Fund, while stars such as Sonu Sood, Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Huma Qureshi and Bhumi Pednekar are using their social media to amplify appeals of those in need.