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India gears up for mega virus concert fundraiser with Mick Jagger, Will Smith

03 May 2020, MVT 22:01
(FILES) In this file photo Ronnie Woods, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Keith Richards perform onstage as The Rolling Stones bring their 'NO FILTER' Tour at NRG Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Houston, Texas. - The Rolling Stones on April 23, 2020 released their first new original music since 2012, a single aptly named "Living in a Ghost Town." Frontman Mick Jagger announced the surprise release on Twitter, saying, "The Stones were in the studio recording new material before the lockdown & one song -- Living In A Ghost Town -- we thought would resonate through the times we're living in." (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP)
03 May 2020, MVT 22:01

Indians geared up Sunday for a massive online concert with top local and global stars, including rock legend Mick Jagger, to raise funds for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 70 of the country's biggest celebrities -- including cricket captain Virat Kohli and actor Shah Rukh Khan -- as well as international names such as Will Smith and Bryan Adams are set to join the show to be live-streamed by Facebook.

"Today we come together to do our best for our world," Bollywood hearthrob Hrithik Roshan tweeted on Sunday.

"See the concert and remember everything is going to be fine," added mega-star Khan on Instagram.

Many celebrities posted pictures of themselves holding placards with the words "I for India", the concert's slogan.

Organised by Bollywood directors Karan Johar and Zoya Akhtar, the event has so far raised INR 18.3 million out of a target of INR 60 million, according to an online tally.

The donations would be matched rupee-for-rupee by major philanthropic groups including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the organisers said Sunday.

The funds will be donated to more than 100 groups providing food and other essential services during the crisis.

Concert organisers said the money was needed "for those who have no work and no home and do not know where their next meal is coming from".

India, the world's second-most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, has reported almost 40,000 cases of the infectious disease with 1,301 deaths.

The government has hailed a weeks-long lockdown imposed from late March to limit the spread of the virus, but the number of new daily cases has continued to gradually rise.

New Delhi, India | AFP

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