Actress Anushka Sharma and India captain Virat Kohli have donated INR 2 crore (US$ 270,000 approx.) towards a fundraising campaign to aid India’s Covid-19 relief. “Things have been very tough for India…and it really pains us to see our country suffer like this,” Kohli and Sharma said in a video posted on their social media channels.”To our family, friends, and fans, this is a time to stand shoulder to shoulder. We will overcome this together. We can win this battle if we are in it together. Stay safe. Jai Hind.”
The campaign initiated by the couple is aimed at raising a total of INR 7 crore (US$ 950,000 approx.). It was launched on Friday on the platform Ketto in association with the NGO, United Way of Bengaluru, with the beneficiary being ACT Grants, which, according to its website is a “social change movement for the start-up ecosystem in India”.
“Having strong voices like Anushka and Virat help drive fundraising efforts will go a long way towards helping us realise this goal,” as per the spokesperson ACT Grants. They added, “On behalf of India’s startup ecosystem, ACT Grants is truly grateful to have them join this mission.”
The initiative taken by Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli to extend financial assistance to give an edge to India’s healthcare infrastructure related to Oxygen Support has been lauded by some. The celebrity couple’s Rs 2 crore-donation makes up part of the Rs 7 crore target. There had been criticism too considering the couple’s net worth the contribution made by them seems to be a measly sum.
Recently, Anushka took to Instagram to share an update about the fundraiser, conducted in collaboration with Ketto. She wrote, “Grateful to everyone who has donated so far. Thank you for your contribution. We have crossed the half way mark, let’s keep going.” The post showed that over ₹3.6 crore had already been generated. The fundraiser’s goal, as per the description on the Ketto page, is to ensure ‘deployment of oxygen solutions, including concentrators and oxygen plants to hospitals across India, and also look at bolstering medical manpower, home care and help scale India’s vaccination efforts’ as the country battles a second wave of the pandemic.
In their recent joint post, the couple wrote that they were pained to see the suffering in the country, and expressed their gratitude towards those stepping forward to help others. Anushka wrote, “As our country battles the second wave of Covid-19, and our healthcare systems are facing extreme challenges, it breaks my heart to see our people suffering. So, Virat and I have initiated a campaign #InThisTogether, with Ketto, to raise funds for Covid-19 relief.” Anushka also mentioned in an Instagram post that she didn’t celebrate her birthday this year, but thanked fans for their wishes.
While some appreciated the efforts made by the celeb couple, they were also trolled for not doing enough. Some people even called them out for acting too late while others pointed out that there were several fund raisers and NGOs working for the cause so why should they donate to one more and not the existing ones.