Conceptualised by Indian American singer Anuradha Juju Palakurthi, the show is an initiative to boost India’s vaccination drive
The vaccination drive has picked up momentum in India but still has a long way to go before the entire country is fully vaccinated. Among the initiatives geared towards increasing footfalls in the drive is Vax.India.Now, a virtual music concert and fundraiser on July 7 (8 pm EST) and 8 (5.30 am IST) to support India’s urgent vaccination drive. An initiative of Anuradha Palakurthi Foundation and Juju Productions, the 90-minute show will be hosted by American comedian, Hasan Minhaj.
Boston-based Indian American singer Anuradha Juju Palakurthi dubs Vax.India.Now, a Hollywood-Bollywood combined star-power concert for a common cause’ over an email. ‘Vaccinate India to make a healthier world,’ she adds.
While Neelesh Mishra has written a song based on the event’s theme ‘Hum Saath Hai’ (We are with you, We are together), Bappa B Lahiri has composed the song sung by Anuradha.
Says Anuradha, “Scientists estimate that the herd immunity could kick in with 600 million and more Indian adults get vaccinated. So far the country has demonstrated that it can vaccinate 10 million people a day. Theoretically, this problem can be solved in 60 days. With concerted global citizen-ownership, we can compress the actual time. The event is one of the many steps being taken worldwide by organisations and individuals”
The singer says she was heartbroken watching scenes of the deadly second wave in India. “Around the same time, Prashanth’s (Prashanth Palakurthi, her husband) Venture Capital investor Scott Stuart of Sageview Capital suggested a concert of this scale. Prashanth ran with the idea and here we are after 10 weeks,” she says, adding the virtual participation of stars from two countries is a reminder that this is a global problem and not limited to state boundaries.
Given the scale, two teams in the US and India executed the concept. “Artists have a long track record of using their reach and star power to right social injustices. The celebrities participating here volunteered their time and effort and just said ‘Yes’ when we asked; we owe them a debt of gratitude. Also, the 150 strong teams work as one because it believes in the cause,” she says
Besides music, one of the highlights is a segment with a group of Harvard/MIT professors sharing US experiences — their steps and missteps in vaccination rollouts. “Hopefully India can learn from these experiences,” concludes Anuradha
Vax.India.Now to streamed globally by CNN Digital on July 7 (8 pm EST) and 8 ( 5 30 am (IST) onwards; Details on www.vaxindianow.com