India is amidst the biggest health crisis. In the past three days, the country has recorded over million cases of COVID-19 with 346,786 new cases overnight into April 24, 2021. World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said in a virtual briefing in Geneva on Friday, “The situation in India is a devastating reminder of what the virus can do.” Apart from citizens of the country who are identifying resources, helping people in need across the country through several social media channels, it has come to a point that hospitals are sending SOS messages on social media due to the lack of oxygen supplies and medical facilities.
Now, in less than 24 hours and pushing the goal forward, BTS ARMY has raised over Rs. 20 lakh (Rs.2,013,322 ) at around 8.05 pm IST for the COVID-19 on April 24, 2021. The goal through this fundraiser is “to tap into a resource pool that a lot of NGOs and activists engaged in mutual aid workers don’t have access to. Besides that, many are also overwhelmed with on-ground work and cannot afford to shift their focus on the logistical aspects of seeking or organizing donations. We want to step in here and assist in whatever capacity we can, and we will ensure to do with complete transparency.”
On April 23, at 9:30 pm IST, Grammy-nominated South Korean group BTS’ fans, called ARMY, kicked off a fundraiser to help citizens of India. BANGTAN INDIA, BTS’ fanclub, posted a donation link on Twitter on April 23 at 9:30 pm IST, urging fans around the world and even the locals to amplify about the fundraiser so people can spread the word and donate in whatever capacity. Through this fundraiser, the plan is to help provide free oxygen cylinders, medical supplies delivery and boost the kitchen that is providing meals to COVID-19 patients at home and homeless. “India is currently facing one of the worst covid outbreaks in the history of the pandemic. The second wave is far deadlier than the first and our healthcare infrastructure is under a lot of pressure. Individuals, as well as organizations, are trying to support the needs of the many affected by covid as best as they can,” the statement read.
As we know India is facing one of the worst 2nd waves of Covid 19, each passing day it’s getting tougher on the health workers and front line workers.
We ask ARMYs around the world to help us as its a helpless situation.
— BANGTAN INDIA ⁷ ???????? (@BangtanINDIA) April 23, 2021
Since a group of ARMY has kicked off a relief page in order to keep everyone updated on donations, where the money will be donated, and what they want to achieve.
— Covid Relief For India (@CovidReliefIn) April 24, 2021
When Bollywood Hungama penned the story earlier in the day on April 24, it was only 12 hours since the first target was achieved which was Rs. 10 lakh. The donations have not been limited to India but have come across the globe. For those who couldn’t donate since times are tough for everyone around the world, using the power of enormous fandom, fans continued to amplify the fundraiser as much as they could in order to continue to help India. Some amount from the donations has already reached respective trusts.
“We’re going to start with the distribution of funds and we’re reaching out to the following initiatives for Phase 1: – Anubhuti Trust (Maharashtra) They reach out to pregnant women, single women, children, disabled people, homeless people, and those among the poorest of the poor Nomadic & De-notified Tribes living on outskirts of towns and villages, ineligible for any government benefits. – Mazdoor Kitchen (New Delhi) A citizen-run voluntary initiative, working to provide meals and subsistence to daily wage workers in Delhi. – TYCIA Foundation (Delhi NCR) Delivering free oxygen cylinders and concentrators to homes in Delhi NCR,” the official details from MILAAP, crowd fundraiser platform read on April 24, 2021.
The statement further read, “We will be withdrawing 4.5 lakhs out of the total fund collected as of now. Out of the 4.5 lakhs, 3 lakhs will be transferred to one of our member’s accounts. From these 3 lakhs, 1.5 lakh each will go to two different organizations which are Mazdoor Kitchen and TYCIA Foundation. The third 1.5 lakh (of the total amount withdrawn) shall go to the Anubhuti Trust, which will be transferred directly through Milaap.”
For unversed, global superstars BTS, hailing from South Korea, are known for their musical versatility, meaningful music, and strong stage presence. Apart from their thriving career, they use their position to do philanthropic work. Some of their donations are highlighted in the media. This past year, they have supported various institutions to help those hit by the pandemic, art galleries, Black Lives Matter, Live Nation crew, and more. Their philanthropy is taken forward by ARMY! This ain’t the first time BTS ARMY has taken the initiative to help the people of the country. Through organized efforts, they do monthly charity donations, birthday fundraisers, the fandom picks institutions to help. They have helped during Assam Floods, organised fundraisers to provide aid to cancer patients, supported sexual assault survivours to name a few of their recent initiatives.