NEW DELHI: Vax.India.Now, a virtual fundraiser to support India in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has raised more than USD 5 million, the organisers said on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

The concert was live-streamed globally on July 7, with UNICEF and AIG as beneficiaries.

Anuradha Juju Palakurthi, who backed the initiative through her Anuradha Palakurthi Foundation, said they are “grateful” for the generosity of large and small donors from around the globe who came together to support this lifesaving campaign.

“The dedicated, multi-national 160-person organization team is proud to have raised meaningful resources in India’s battle against this awful pandemic. I am grateful to the celebrities for lending their time and talent in particular, the immediacy of their response and commitment to the cause,” the Boston-based Indian playback singer said in a statement.

Anuradha also expressed gratitude to the Indian team “that had to work through a national lockdown”.

“The campaign is still open at Give today! We are all together in this and must continue to vaccinate individuals, to prevent more variants, and stop Covid 19. It is not over until it’s over,” she further said.

The event was hosted by popular comic-actor Hasan Minhaj, with the likes of Liam Neeson, Annie Lennox, A.R.Rahman, Pia Toscano, Zubin Mehta, Gloria Estefan, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, David Foster, Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, Asif Mandvi, Nishat Khan, Ranjani Gayatri Sisters and Matteo Bocelli participating in the concert.

Vax.India.Now also shed light on the ground realities in India amid the pandemic and educated viewers on how they can help save lives and make a real impact, according to the organisers.

Proceeds will support UNICEF’s efforts to ensure millions of crisis-affected and vulnerable children and families in India have access to life-saving assistance and services and help COVID-19 vaccines reach the ones in need, they added.

The fundraiser is sponsored by Anuradha Palakurthi Foundation, a project of The Giving Back Fund, the main benefactor of Vax.India.Now.

Vax.India.Now is being produced by JuJu Productions, run by Anuradha and her husband Prashanth Palakurthi, Charles Goldstuck, Marc Johnston and Erich Bergen and Wizcraft International Entertainment and Neelesh Misra of Gaon Connection.

Marc Pollick, President and Founder of The Giving Back Fund, said, “When our longtime Board member Prashanth Palakurthi proposed doing something truly significant on a worldwide scale to help his native India at this critical time, we jumped at the chance to help.

“This is what we are built for – to mobilize quickly and provide assistance and philanthropic administration to help those in need. At this moment in time, the need in India must become the center of the universe.”