The scars left by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic have yet not healed, the even deadlier second wave of the pandemic has now taken India by storm, pushing the country’s healthcare system past the breaking point.
In these trying times, a number of people from different walks of life, including Bollywood celebrities, has come forward to get aid to those in need. However, there are many people who are busy criticising the celebrities for not loosening their purse strings enough. They have not spared even the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan.
Bachchan took to his blog to answer people who have been criticizing celebrities for not rising to the occasion and aiding Covid-19 relief efforts. The superstar also revealed the donations made by him. However, he chose not to disclose the amount as he said it is embarrassing.
In his blog post, Bachchan wrote, “Yes, I do charity, but have ever believed it to be done than spoken of. It is embarrassing, in too great a self-consciousness of one that has ever felt shy of public presence despite the profession – one that has to find its USP in public domains is relevant today for me (sic).”
“The pressure though, the everyday abuse and the filth of distasteful comment has never been of attention to me or to the family. We have seen it from time immemorial. Happens. Some are ridden with the wisdom that it shall happen, so all the efforts continued in the quiet. No divulge to the information agencies, no talk of it either. Only the receiver knew and that was the end (sic),” he added.
Sharing details on his contribution to Covid-19 relief efforts, he wrote, “Over a 1500 farmers bank loans paid off by my personal fund and prevented them from suicide, as the suicided grew… from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP et al. Calling them over after identifying with respective banks and getting them all to Janak and in the presence of the bank representatives, paying them in person and getting them to strike off the loan, giving each farmer the document that they did not owe any more, that their loan was over and completed and paid back to the bank. Some 300 odd from UP could not all be present. A bogie in the train booked for a limited number of 30 to 50 of them, from their respective cities in UP, received in Mumbai, put in buses, given a drive of the city of Mumbai, brought over to Janak, fed and given the loan cancellation certificate and put back on the train to their homes. All at my expense.
The brave soldiers at the border of the country who had been martyred, their lists sought and their families, young wives and their children, some wives pregnant and expectant, given succour. The martyr s at Pulwama after the terrible terrorist attack, their families spread all over the land contacted and brought to Janak and given succour at the hands of Abhishek and Shweta.
Those that suffered during the Covid last year… providing food for over 400,000 daily wage earners in the country for a month… feeding almost 5000 in the city each day lunch and dinner. Provided masks, PPE units to frontline warriors, Police Hospitals in the thousands through personal funds. Donating to the Sikh Committee that was helping the migrants to travel back home in the Inter State busses, where the drivers were mostly Sikhs. When the migrants were walking back home, some without the benefit or affordability of shoes, provided hundreds of chappals and shoes to them. Due to lack of travel facility, booked 30 buses to locations in UP and Bihar and supplied them food and water for the overnight travel.
Booked an entire train from Mumbai to UP to carry 2800 migrant passengers free of cost at my expense and when the destination State blocked the tarin from coming into their State and cancelled the train, immediately chartered 3 Indigo Airline planes and flew almost 180 migrants in each flight to UP and Bihar and some to Rajasthan and J&K.
And as the virus spread, donated an entire Diagnostic Centre opened at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in Delhi through the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, set up in the premises of the Gurudwara for medical help for the poor and needy. An MRI machine and other Sonographic and Scan equipment of expenses beyond my means, but set up in the memory of my Nana, Naani and my Mother.
A 250 to 450 bed care center set up with further donation at the Rakabganj Sahib Gurudwara today in Delhi and soon to procure for them O2 (Oxygen) concentrators, not in stock or easily available, from overseas limited stock to be donated to Delhi where the need is immense and some to Mumbai coming in within the week. 50 of them coming in from Poland by 15th and the rest around 150 from perhaps the US. Orders placed. Some have arrived and given to the hospital in need.
Ventilators of immediate need to the BMC and to the Municipal Hospitals ordered, around 20 of them, of course, within my limited means, to be in, in a few days. Some 10 have arrived today and on custom release shall be delivered.
A 25-50 bed Hospital care center setting up at Juhu Army location at a School Hall, the Ritambhara School, with all facilities and should be up by the 12th of May. Donated funds to set up.
3 very important detection machines donated to Nanavati Hospital, last week to help in the detection of Covid. Feeding about a 1000 in the slums and poor sections of the city.
Young children, orphaned by the sudden death of the parents, left in oblivion have adopted 2 and shall be put in an orphanage in Hyderabad. Their study, board and lodging free till they finish school from the 1st to the 10th and if they turn out bright, to provide them with free upper education and more, as and when the means are affordable,” wrote the superstar.