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Monday,26-September-2022

Bollywood

Anushka Sharma and Virat start Covid fundraiser, contribute Rs 2cr

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Celebrity couple Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli have started a fundraiser campaign to help people deal with the Covid crises at hand.

The couple has collaborated with crowd-funding platform Ketto for the campaign #InThisTogether and has donated Rs 2 crore for this initiative. They aim to raise 7 crore for Covid relief in India

Talking about the same, Anushka said: “India is going through an extremely difficult time and the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has pushed our country to a state of crisis. It is time for all of us to come together and do our bit for our fellow countrymen who are in serious need of support.

“Virat and I have been hugely pained looking at the inexplicable suffering that people are going through and we hope that this fund will aid in our fight against the virus that we are all helplessly witnessing. We are praying for everyone’s safety. We hope that you join us in our prayers to save as many lives as possible because we are all in this together.”

Virat said: “We are going through an unprecedented time in the history of our country and our nation needs all of us to unite and save as many people as possible. Anushka and I have been shocked to see humans suffering since last year. We have been working towards helping as many people as possible all through the pandemic and now, India wants our support more than ever.

“We are starting this fundraiser with the confidence that we will be able to raise substantial funds to aid those in dire need. We are confident that people will come forward to support fellow countrymen in crisis. We are in this together and we shall overcome this.”

#InThisTogether will run for seven days and the proceeds raised will be directed to ACT Grants, the implementation partner for this campaign.

“Having strong voices like Anushka and Virat help drive fundraising efforts will go a long way towards helping us realise this goal. On behalf of India’s startup ecosystem, ACT Grants is truly grateful to have them join this mission,” said Gayatri Yadav, spokesperson ACT Grants.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Virat Kholi and Anuskha Sharma for their philanthropic endeavour to support our Covid relief programme,” said Varun Sheth, CEO & co-founder, Ketto.org.

Bollywood

‘We have lost a gem’: Condolences start pouring in for Raju Srivastava

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Even as the news of comedian Raju Srivastava’s death spread across the country, messages of condolence started pouring in.

The first to react was Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who said: “It is regrettable that Raju Srivastava is no more with us. He came from a poor family, but with his talent and hard work, he created his presence in the world. There are very few talented comedians like him. I remember how he wanted to contest from Kanpur when he joined SP.”

Srivastava was indeed given an SP ticket in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but he later returned it and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Saddened to hear the tragic news of Raju Srivastava’s untimely demise. He made us all laugh with his amazing comic timing for so many years. We have lost a gem. My deepest condolences to his family members and admirers.”

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Bollywood

India has one less reason to laugh; our favourite ‘Gajodar Bhaiyya’ is no more

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Known for his earthy humour and inimitable delivery style, comedian Raju Srivastav, who became a household name in his delightful ‘Gajodhar Bhaiyya’ persona, breathed his last on Wednesday, September 21, aged 59. The popular comedian battled for his life for 43 days.

He passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he had been rushed on August 9 after he complained of chest pain and collapsed in the South Delhi gym where he was working out.

Srivastav was at once moved to the Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator. Doctors had then said that he had suffered brain damage.

Born on December 25, 1963, Satya Prakash Srivastava, who later became famous as Raju Srivastava, came from a middle-class family in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

A gifted mimic, the comedy star had his share on initial struggles before attracting notice by mimicking megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic baritone voice. That got him invited to stage shows both within and outside India.

He first appeared in small roles in Bollywood films, such as the 1989 Salman Khan-starrer ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’, where he essayed the role of Shambhu, a house help. He then appeared in Shah Rukh Khan’s defining film ‘Baazigar’, which was released in 1993.

Srivastava was then seen in films such as ‘Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa’ (2001), ‘Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’ (2003), ‘Big Brother’ (2007) and ‘Bombay To Goa’ (2007), among many others.

His big breakthrough came in 2005, however, with the first season of ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, which opened the doors for him in the world of stand-up comedy.

He finished as second runner-up and then took part in the spin-off, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champions’, where he was feted with the title of ‘The King of Comedy’.

In 2009, he took over the cameras, quite literally, as he joined the reality show ‘Bigg Boss 3’. Following that, he was seen in ‘Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala’.

The beauty of his life was that he constantly kept pushing the envelope. In 2013, Srivastava, along with his wife Shikha, participated in the popular dance show ‘Nach Baliye’ Season 6. Soon thereafter, he also appeared on ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’.

He even branched out into politics! The Samajwadi Party fielded Srivastava from Kanpur in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, but he returned the ticked and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi named him to be a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, for which he has shot various TV commercials and social service video.

He is survived by Shikha, whom he married in 1993, and their children Antara and Ayushman.

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Bollywood

SRK’s request to Modi: Take a day off, enjoy your birthday

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Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 72nd birthday on Saturday.

Shah Rukh took to Twitter to wish the leader and even asked him to take a day off and enjoy the day.

“Your dedication for the welfare of our country and its people is highly appreciated. May you have the strength and health to achieve all your goals,” he wrote on the micro-blogging website.

He added: “Take a day off and enjoy your Birthday, sir. Happy Birthday.”

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