Actress Raveena Tandon says she is disturbed by the oxygen shortage in the capital amid the second wave of Covid, and has taken it upon herself to send oxygen cylinders to the city.
Raveena has started an initiative called Oxygen Seva On The Wheels Mumbai To Delhi, where she is sending oxygen cylinders through her non-profit organisation, Rudra Foundation to the Capital.
"Just look around you, how can what's happening not need you to do something, instead of just sitting and tweeting about it. As you can see, Delhi is almost gasping for breath, and this is the initiative a few likeminded people along with me decided to take up," Raveena told IANS.
The actress says they are reaching out to those who are well-off for funding, and acknowledges the cooperation of Chintu Kwatra and Khushiyan Foundation.
"I have dispersed a lot of 300 cylinders and for the rest, we are trying to generate funds from likeminded people, whether it is our friends or anyone who has extra money. We are not pressuring people, the common man to come forward and donate. At this moment, everyone needs to save for emergency that they might face. But yes, we are reaching out to people who can make a difference and asking them to chip in," she says.
Not only shortage of oxygen, but people are also being forced to pay exorbitant prices for medical necessities. Talking about the same, the actress says: "Be it ambulances or hospitals, oxygen, oximeters, concentrators, the amount of money being charged is ridiculous. People in dire need of these things are desperate, anything to save their near and dear ones, and are shelling out their life's savings. What can I say about these people taking advantage of the needy at the moment?" she says.
However, she adds that she has also been a lot of support for her initiative. "Many of my family members have chipped in, my extended family, cousins, like-minded friends, people have called me from various places and it is an initiative that is being supported by a lot of people," she says.
Raveena adds that she is making sure to deliver the oxygen to the right people, so that it can go to those who need it, free of cost.
"What we are doing is a drop in the ocean of what is required, but the fact is that we have tied up with people where we know for sure this will go free of cost to the needy. We have tied up with DCP South Delhi, the police, and we are handing over a part of the lot that is going now. Then we are giving Radha Soami Satsang Beas cylinders because they have a centre at Chattarpur, which is free of cost. We are giving part of it to the army and another NGO, which has tied up with us. We are going through Twitter and verifying whoever is most needy at that time and sending cylinders there. It's a personal one- to -one thing that we are doing," she says.
Beth Reekles was a teenager when she penned the teenybopper rom-com "The Kissing Booth", which went on to become a hit film and also spawned a successful sequel for OTT. A third instalment is in post-production.
This is not the first time a book for young adults or teenagers has been turned into a film. Several adaptations have become very popular, including the "Harry Potter" franchise, "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Princess Diaries" franchise among many others. Reekles decodes why such book adaptations are instant hits.
"For me, as a reader, it's always when the adaptation captures the heart and soul of the movie. Yes, characters might not look the way you imagined, and the adaptation might create new scenes and cut your favourite parts of the book -- but if it captures the emotion, the dynamics, the personalities that you loved in the book, that's when it can work really well," Reekles told IANS.
Reekles was 15 and was tired of stories of "vampires and werewolves" when she wrote her first young adult novel "The Kissing Booth", publishing it chapter by chapter on Wattpad, a story sharing site. It gained momentum from there.
"I was fifteen years old and desperate for a regular high school romance that didn't have the guy's best friend as a love interest. I loved the bad boy characters, but everything seemed to be paranormal romance at the time (which I loved, but was a bit tired of at the time). When I couldn't find the book I wanted to read, I wrote it instead!" said Reekles, who was feted with the Wattpad 2011 prize for Most Popular Teen Fiction.
The film version of her book series stars Jacob Elordi, Joey King and Joel Courtney. The 25-year-old writer is very happy with the way her characters are represented on screen and says she could not have a better cast.
"I think we couldn't have had a better cast! From the first moment I stepped onto set, I knew they were perfect -- Joey and Joel were in the middle of filming a scene, but I couldn't be sure if they were just goofing around, or actually being Elle and Lee," she recalled.
"In the book I make such a big deal out of Noah's ‘trademark smirk' -- the first time I saw Jacob do the smirk, I freaked out because it was exactly how I'd imagined," she added.
The author is now very excited about the third instalment of the film.
"I got to be on set for a couple of scenes and just loved it. I can't wait to see how the rest of the script and story comes to life -- and I can't wait for the soundtrack, too. I think these movies have such wonderful soundtracks," she said.
Kangana Ranaut on Saturday shared the news that she has tested positive for Covid-19 and has quarantined herself. The actress posted the health update on Instagram, along with a picture that shows her performing Sukhasana.
"I was feeling tired and weak with slight burning sensation in my eyes for past few days, was hoping to go to Himachal so got my test done yesterday and today the result came I am covid positive," she wrote in the post.
The actress urged everyone not to be scared, calling the disease "nothing but a small time flu".
"I have quarantined myself, I had no idea this virus is having a party in my body, now that I know I will demolish it, people please don't give anything any power over you, if you are scared it will scare you more, come let's destroy this Covid-19 it is nothing but a small time flu which got too much press and now psyching few people. Har Har Mahadev," she wrote.
The news comes days after her Twitter account was suspended, after she posted a series of tweets perceived to be controversial.
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.
Actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood said anyone who has lost a loved one due to scarcity of oxygen or injection has not failed.
"Anyone who has lost a loved one due to scarcity of Oxygen or an injection, will never be able to live in peace all their life. They will always live with a feeling that they failed to save their family. I want to tell them You didn't fail, We did," Sonu tweeted late on Tuesday night.
Since last year, Sonu has been working relentlessly to help people amid the Covid crisis. He and his team recently saved the lives of 22 patients at a Bengaluru hospital, and also arranged for a critically ill Covid patient to be airlifted from Jhansi to Hyderabad for necessary treatment.
On May 3, Sonu thanked Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas for backing his appeal for free education to children of those who lost their lives to Covid.
"Thanks a ton Priyanka for your support. I promise we will make this happen," Sonu wrote to Priyanka, along with a folded hands emoji.
Actor Randeep Hooda on Tuesday posted an Instagram video announcing that he has teamed up with an NGO to arrange oxygen concentrators.
Randeep and the NGO, Khalsa Aid, aim to arrange at least 700 concentrators for the Covid-afflicted, at a time when oxygen is in short supply all over the country.
In the video post, Randeep stands displaying various placards that read slogans like "India needs Oxygen", "Every 4 minutes a person dies by Covid-19", "Crematoriums and burials are running out of space", and "You can save precious lives".
He asked people to donate for the cause, and reiterated his appeal in the caption alongside the video.
"It's your chance to save lives! With India facing the worst of the pandemic, people are dying due to lack of oxygen. Let's come together to help the country fight #COVID and save precious lives. @khalsaaid_india is providing oxygen concentrators and we urge you to come forward and do you bit to help India breathe," Randeep wrote in the caption.
On the work front, Randeep Hooda plays antagonist in the Eid release "Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai", starring Salman Khan and Disha Patani. The Prabhu Deva directorial is slated for a pay-per-view release digitally on May 13.
Actress Shlokka Pandit has urged everyone to follow Covid-19 protocols, noting we are literally at war with the deadly virus.
"These are dire times. We haven't seen days like this and we are literally at war with the virus. A war that we can't afford to lose. Everyone I know has lost a near and dear one," Shlokka said.
"The least that we could do is follow all the protocols that are set -- be it social distancing, using masks, sanitising and isolating.
"If we see symptoms or test positive, we have to follow everything religiously.
"People are losing lives in hours, so we have no reaction time.
"I pray and wish everyone gets through this safely," says Shlokka, who was recently seen in the film "Hello Charlie", co-starring Jackie Shroff, Elnaaz Norouzi and Aadar Jain.
Telugu superstar Allu Arjun, who tested Covid positive last week, posted a health update on Monday, assuring fans that he is recovering well.
"Hello everyone! I am doing well with very mild symptoms. Recovering well and nothing to worry. I am still in quarantine. Thank you so much for all the love you have been showing and the prayers you have been sending my way. Gratitude," the 38-year-old actor wrote on his verified Instagram account.
Arjun had announced testing positive in a social media post on April 28. "Hello everyone, I have tested positive for Covid. I have isolated myself at home and have been following all the protocols. I request those who have come in contact with me to get tested. Stay home, stay safe and get vaccinated when you get the chance. I request all my well-wishers and fans not to worry about me as I am doing fine," he had tweeted.
Actress Rasika Dugal on Monday dedicated a post on social media to the cast of her new web series "Out Of Love 2". In the post, she shared a string of pictures featuring everyone involved with the series.
"To the wonderful co-actors you can lean on, laugh with, yawn with, have an aside with, order food with, play the fool with… And to my most special co-actor @kabirkachroo. Aim for the skies while I figure where to get us some nutty caramel chocolate," Rasika wrote in her post.
Directed by Oni Sen, the second season of "Out Of Love" has Rasika and Purab Kohli reprise their roles as the estranged couple Meera and Akarsh.
The series, produced by BBC Studios India, has been shot across picturesque locales in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
Actress Kangana Ranaut on Monday urged people to plant more trees even as the demand for oxygen goes up in the country with rising Covid-19 cases. She says people using oxygen should pledge to work on improving air quality.
"Everybody is building more and more oxygen plants, getting tons and tons of oxygen cylinders, how are we compensating for all the oxygen that we are forcefully drawing from the environment? It seems we learnt nothing from our mistakes and catastrophes they cause #PlantTrees'," Kangana wrote on Twitter.
She added: "Along with announcing more and more oxygen for humans, governments must announce relief for nature also, people who are using this oxygen should also pledge to work on improving the air quality, for how long we are going to be miserable pests only taking never giving back to nature?"
She said that if life forms start disappearing from the earth surface it would affect the fertility of the soil.
"Remember any other life if it disappears from earth even microbes or insects it will affect fertility of soil and Mother Earth's health, she will miss them but if humans disappear Earth will only and only flourish, if you aren't her lover or child, you are just unnecessary #PlantTrees," Kangana said.
Actress Hina Khan says she is a "helpless daughter" as she can't be with her mother after her father's recent death, because she is currently under quarantine.
Hina posted her thoughts with a picture on Instagram, where she is seen looking outside of the window with a mask on.
"A Helpless Daughter, Who can't even be with her mother to comfort her, when she needs her the most. Dear people times are tough very tough for not just us, but everyone around," she wrote.
"But thrs a saying, Tough times don't last, Tough people do. And I am, was and will always be my Daddy's Strong Girl. Send in your prayers plz... Let thr be light…. Dua," she said.
Hina tested positive on April 27. Her father passed away a week before owing to a heart attack.