If there’s one positive to come out of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the growing realisation that we’re all in this together. All over the country, people are putting in their time and resources to ensure that those on the frontlines and on the margins have the help and support they need to survive this unprecedented emergency, and stand-up comedians are no different.
Last weekend, over 80 Indian comedians and influencers came together to hold Stay Home For India, a two day charity fundraiser for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. The event, which was organised by Stand Up For India (brainchild of Kaneez Surka and lawyer Amshula Prakash), this time in association with NGOs COVIDINDIA.org and the Kasthakari Panchayat Trust, raised a total of Rs. 24,60,038. Not bad, guys!
Conducted on Tanmay Bhat’s Youtube channel, the event was hosted by Bhat and Kaneez Surka, and featured notable names such as Kenny Sebastian, Abish Mathew, José Covaco, Sorabh Pant, and Sumukhi Saresh, amongst many others. Over the two days, participants took part in improv workshops, PUBG gaming sessions, quizzes, and “cute roasts”. Many of the comedians involved also added to the pot with a number of generous donations from their own pockets.
COVIDINDIA.org will be using the funds raised to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline healthcare workers of Sion Hospital (Mumbai), JP Hospital (Bhopal) and Victoria Hospital (Bangalore). Meanwhile the Kasthakari Panchayat Trust will provide PPEs and ration kits to waste pickers, ensuring that they are safe and taken care of as they go about the essential task of keeping our sanitation system running.
If you missed the live-stream, don’t worry, you can just go onto Bhat’s Youtube channel to relive the fun. And if you want to donate to help India in the fight against the virus, here’s a list of NGOs that could really use your help.