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Katy Perry and Reese Witherspoon are the latest A-listers who are throwing their star power behind appeals to raise funds for India, which is grappling through a deadly second wave of COVID-19 that has left the country in desperate needs of life-saving resources.
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Singer Perry posted an appeal on her Instagram requesting people to donate to the cause. “You may have heard about the devastation the pandemic is having in India right now: Each day a new world record is set for the number of Covid cases (386,453 JUST TODAY according to @NPR) with the peak still to come,” she posted. “Hospitals have stopped admitting patients because they are running low on vital supplies and equipment, including oxygen, leaving people to watch loved ones die on stretchers outside the hospital doors. My friends at the @thebritishasiantrust are trying to help by getting as many oxygen concentrators to hospitals as quickly as possible. If you’d like to help, please consider donating at the link in my bio.”
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India holds a special place for Perry who was wed to British comedian Russell Brand in 2010, which involved a seven-day ‘Hollywood meets Bollywood’ theme.
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The singer returned to India in 2019 to perform in the country and rub shoulders with the best of Bollywood. In 2020, Prince Charles announced Perry as the new ambassador for the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund for India. The Trust is a charity founded by The Prince in 2007 after he witnessed widespread poverty and hardship faced by families in South Asia.
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Joining Perry in her appeal is Oscar-winning star Witherspoon who shared an earlier appeal by Priyanka Chopra Jonas to raise funds for India during this current crisis. She also threw her weight behind the ‘Help India Breath’ COVID-19 relief initiative spearheaded by lifestyle coach and author Jay Shetty and his wife Radhi Shetty and Indiaspora.
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Other celebrity names attached to event are Lilly Singh (pictured), Deepak Chopra, Dhar Mann, Payal Kadakia, Kunal Nayyar, Willow Smith and Jay Sean.
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Earlier, Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello also posted a video on her Instagram, asking people to contribute towards ongoing relief efforts. “India is facing a devastating second wave of COVID. There have been over 18 million cases reported and the healthcare system simply does not have enough resources to care for everybody. They need protective equipment, oxygen and medicine to save lives,” Cabello said.
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Kaling reposted a message by entrepreneur Deepica Mutyala, which read: “No matter where you’re from, what’s happening in the largest democracy in the world is a humanitarian crisis — India needs us. This is real and devastating. Covid cases/deaths are on a rise & we have to help.” Along with her post, Kaling provided a list of places where people can donate.
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Chopra Jonas and her husband Nick Jonas have already raised more than $650,000 for Give India to help India in the hour of crisis.
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The second wave in India has seen daily cases cross 350,000, with the death toll crossing 200,000. Several Bollywood celebrities such as Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna and Suniel Shetty have stepped up to help by donating oxygen concentrators.
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Actors Varun Dhawan and Taapsee Pannu have teamed up with Mission Oxygen India to provide donations and amplify their cause.
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Salman Khan (pictured) has launched a food truck to feed frontline workers in Mumbai, while John Abraham has handed his social media account to NGOs to amplify appeals.
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Actor Ayushmann Khurrana and his wife Tahira Kashyap (pictured) 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.
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