Bollywood stars help coordinate India Covid response following backlash at celebrities who left for Maldives

Peony Hirwani
·3-min read
<p>File image: Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra at the BIG STAR Entertainment Awards 2014</p> (Getty Images)

File image: Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra at the BIG STAR Entertainment Awards 2014

(Getty Images)

Some Bollywood stars are now actively participating in the fight against India’s dreadful second wave of Covid-19 after other celebrities faced a backlash for escaping to the Maldives during the crisis.

Actor Alia Bhatt, who faced criticism from fans for her trip to the island, has now temporarily transformed her Instagram profile to a Covid helpline in collaboration with Indian journalist Faye D’Souza.

The Gully Boy actor has been posting government Covid helpline numbers for various states on her profile.

She wrote: “It is a time of great uncertainty. Infrastructure and information are need of the hour. We are limited in terms of what we can do for infrastructure. But we can do our bit to identify and amplify relevant information.

“I’m happy to be working with Faye D’Souza, who is helping us to identify the information and the both of us will amplify in whatever best way we can. We hope this helps. Take care and stay safe.” she wrote.

Actors Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani, who also faced backlash from fans for their trip to the Maldives, have recently been encouraging their followers to get vaccinated.

Patani wrote on Instagram: “Guys we can all do a small part to protect our motherland. Let’s get vaccinated.”

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Other Bollywood stars living in India and abroad have also shown immense support for the relief movement.

The White Tiger actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas and husband Nick Jonas have set up a Covid fundraiser in collaboration with GiveIndia. Over 6,000 supporters have already helped raise over £200,000 in one day.

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Padman actor Akshay Kumar and wife Twinkle Khanna donated to the Annada foundation to provide meals to families affected by the pandemic in addition to donating 100 oxygen concentrators.

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Furthermore, actor Salman Khan’s Being Human Foundation has launched a food truck that is providing meals to frontline workers and the police in Mumbai.

Actor Sonu Sood is transporting sick patients, providing medication, and delivering blood plasma while encouraging people to get vaccinated.

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He wrote in a post: “The speed at which we get requests across the country. Trying my best to reach out to everyone. Everyone... Please come forward. We need more helping hands. Do your best to the best of your capabilities,”

Other Bollywood actors who are arranging and amplifying resources are Jacqueline Fernandez, Suniel Shetty, Katrina Kaif, and Ayushmann Khurrana.

Earlier this month, India’s most well-off purportedly paid tens of thousands of pounds chartering private jets to escape the country in the midst of an overwhelming second rush of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During a rush to reach the UK before it added India to a rundown of “red list” countries requiring hotel quarantine saw at least eight private jets chartered to make the nine-hour journey, according to The Times.

It said the planes were believed to have cost up to £100,000 each to charter, and that one showed up in Britain only 45 minutes before the red list deadline.

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