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AR Rahman, Ed Sheeran, Mick Jagger team up for COVID-19 fundraiser

The biggest global artistes like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger,Ed Sheeran, AR Rahman, Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan will unite for a fundraiser on Independence Day

AR Rahman, Ed Sheeran, Mick Jagger team up for COVID-19 fundraiser

The biggest global artistes like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, music maestro AR Rahman, and Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan will unite for a fundraiser on Independence Day to raise over Rs 25 crore for COVID-19 relief work.

The event titled "We For India", which will be streamed on Facebook on August 15, will raise funds for the COVID-19 relief missions of philanthropic platform Give India.

The three hour videothon will feature over 100 artistes including filmmakers Rajkumar Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Farah Khan, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikram Bhatt and Ribhu Dasgupta. Several interactions are planned with cine stars like Ajay Devgn, Akkineni Nagarjuna, R Madhavan, Farhan Akhtar, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Pratik Gandhi among others.

The show will be hosted by actor Rajkummar Rao. Reliance Entertainment is producing the event, in partnership with The World We Want (WWW) and supported by GiveIndia.

Namit Sharma, creative producer, Reliance Entertainment, said that the aim of the fundraiser is to mitigate the troubles faced by the country's common people due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Our effort in putting together this fundraiser, working closely with multiple partners and talent from across the globe has taught us one thing- the world is one, and there is no dearth of goodness and kindness," Sharma said in a statement.

Besides Sheeran and Jagger, international stars and musicians that will participate in the show are veteran singer Annie Lennox alongside her daughter Lola Lennox, Africa origin actor Ini Dima-Okojie, superstar and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nancy Ajram, Co-founder of CHIC, guitarist Nile Rodgers and music group Sister Sledge ft Sledgendary.

Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, dance maestros Prabhudeva and Remo D'Souza, musicians Shankar Mahadevan, Usha Uthup, Pandit Bikram Ghosh, Mithoon, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani, Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant, Swanand Kirkire, Shantanu Moitra, Kanika Kapoor, Lisa Mishra will also perform. Sporting star Mahesh Bhupati will also be a participant. Besides, the show will also feature medical professionals who will share their experiences and urgent requirements to keep India safe.

Sweta Agnihotri, CEO - Content and Syndication, Reliance Entertainment, said after almost a year and a half of the pandemic and after two waves, there has been "a long-term health and economic fallout for families". "That is why we believe in We For India, standing in solidarity with the people of India, and together aiming to raise much needed funds," Agnihotri said.

Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Sonakshi Sinha, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, Malaika Arora, Dia Mirza, Kalki Koechlin, Sanya Malhotra, Ananya Panday and Alaya F will also feature on the videothon.

Natasha Mudhar, Founder of The World We Want hoped "We For India" will leverage the power of popular culture and encourage people to "raise vital funds to not only save lives but to restore, rebuild, and renew lives devastated by the crisis."

Atul Satija, CEO of GiveIndia called "We For India" a timely initiative to remind people of the "need to continue to provide humanitarian aid and strengthen our health infrastructure." Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India, said as part of their Social for Good initiative, the team is happy to partner with "We for India" to help provide relief to communities impacted by COVID-19.

Proceeds from the event 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 as well as to mobilise support to rebuild livelihoods such as those thrust into poverty due to a decline in earnings and complete loss of income.

Meal and ration kits will also be provided to the rural and urban families hit financially by the pandemic. While cash relief will be provided to families who have lost an immediate member.

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