Actors Anupam Kher (L) and Neena Gupta
Actors Anupam Kher (L) and Neena Gupta

Mumbai: Actors Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Rakesh Bedi, and Makarand Deshpande are among the popular names from the film industry to join a fundraising campaign in support of the theatre community.

Zee Theatre has partnered with Give India Foundation to support the staff and technicians at the cinema halls who have been badly hit due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown. Kher, Gupta, Bedi along with Divya Dutta, Aahana Kumra and Shikha Talsania feature in a campaign video where they talk about the people who are the backbone of the theatre experience. Shailja Kejriwal, chief creative officer of Zee Special Projects, said the month-long fundraising initiative aims to help those who find themselves without any source of income and are "unlikely to get any relief in the coming months." "It is extremely heartening to see that our initiative has received the support of such stalwarts. Our aim at Zee Theatre is to support the fraternity, the generous donations will go a long way to help them during these trying times," Kejriwal said in a statement. Kher said he instantly came on board to be a part of the fundraiser as he shares a "deep and personal connection" with theatre halls. "No theatrical production is complete without the help and presence of the technicians and support staff. Their survival is vital for our community. I would request everyone to donate generously," he said. Gupta said she feels fortunate to be in a position to help colleagues who are struggling to make ends meet. "Many of the support staff and technicians are worried and helpless because of the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of theatre halls... Through this initiative, we want to reach out to people across the country and urge them to donate," the actor said. The two-minute video also features a poem penned by actor-lyricist Amitosh Nagpal to convey the industry's unified sentiment to fight for survival amid lockdown.

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