Lebanese songstress Nancy Ajram is teaming up with a host of international A-listers and mega Bollywood stars to raise money for COVID-19 relief work in India. The digital fundraiser, conceptualised in conjunction with The World We Want (WWW), a London-based social impact enterprise, features over 100 celebrities who have made a mark in the film, music, comedy and sports arenas. Entitled “We For India: Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods,” the mega event will take place on August 15, India’s Independence Day. The three-hour spectacle, to be held in London and Mumbai, will be livestreamed over Facebook.
Ajram, one of the biggest music icons in the Arab world, television judge and businesswoman, will be joining forces with other big-named musicians including Annie Lennox and her daughter, Lola, Ed Sheeran, Sir Mick Jagger, Nile Rodgers, Sister Sledge ft. Sledgendary and Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman, The “Queen of Arab Pop” will also be amidst a sea of Bollywood actors and Indian icons like Farah Khan, Sonu Sood, Rajkumar Hirani, Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and Saif Ali Khan. Motivational speaker Jay Shetty, Dina Shihabi and actress Shilpa Shetty, who is making her first public appearance in a while, are also expected to be part of the line-up.
Rajkummar Rao, star of the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated Netflix movie, “The White Tiger,” will host the event that is produced in partnership with Reliance Entertainment. As well as the musical performances and stand-up comedy, it will feature video messages of support from stars, interactions with frontline heroes, immersive fitness challenges, games and important information from medical professionals.
The event “aims to put the spotlight on the urgent and sustained action needed on the ground,” according to Natasha Mudhar, the founder of WWW. Ajram, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, will be helping to raise funds (there’s a goal of $3.5 million) to provide critical equipment, such as oxygen concentrators, cylinders and ventilators, as well as essential medicines and ICU units. Funds will also go towards supporting the staffing of vaccination centres and aiding those who are jobless and living in poverty because of the virus, whether it’s meal and ration kits or relief for families who have lost an immediate family member.
“Our aim here is not short-term action, but to support the long-term recovery for those impacted by the pandemic. The funds we generate will go a long way in positively changing the lives of families and we hope our actions inspire a national outpouring of support that can sustain the recovery,” Mudhar said.
Viewers all over the world will be able to donate in real-time to help post-COVID-19 operations and provide important preventive measures against future outbreaks. All proceeds from “We For India” will be utilised by Give India, the non-profit online donation platform.