Indian actor and producer Shah Rukh Khan shared a moving call to action to the global community who tuned in to watch the One World: Together At Homebroadcast on Saturday.
Khan appeared alongside numerous actors, musicians, late-night talk show hosts, global health experts, frontline workers, and world leaders for the multi-hour digital and broadcast event to celebrate health care workers and support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
He began his message by expressing concern for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic’s impact on India, which currently has more than 17,615 confirmed cases and 559 deaths.
The country is also facing a host of other challenges amid the pandemic, such as a lack of access to water and sanitation, and the inability to effectively practice social distancing in overcrowded slums. More than 163 million people in India currently do not have access to clean water.
"India is facing one of its greatest challenges in her history," Khan said. "With a population of over a billion citizens, the spread of COVID-19 is bound to have a negative impact on our country, like it is impacting the rest of the world."
Acknowledging that ending the crisis will be an uphill battle, he noted that the best response to the pandemic is immediate action, and highlighted his contributions to global relief efforts.
1.3 billion people in India are on lockdown due to COVID-19 — but the country’s most vulnerable are being hit the hardest. That’s why @iamsrk is urging you to take action to support those at high-risk: https://t.co/26xVXSb0qy#TogetherAtHomepic.twitter.com/wiSU2KK3A6— Global Citizen (@GlblCtzn) April 19, 2020
"Right now, I am working with a team of people to provide protective equipment, quarantine centers, food and essentials to patients, hospitals, and homes," Khan said. "But to beat this worldwide pandemic, the world has to — must — come together."
He then went on to encourage fans and viewers to contact their governments and world leaders and urge them to contribute to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which requires $675 million in funding to support countries in need.
The One World: Together At Home broadcast and campaign successfully secured $55.1 million in commitments for the response fund on Saturday.
In his closing remarks, Khan shared a message of global unity and kindness.
"India, planet Earth, tonight we are one world," he said. "I love you. Stay strong."
Join the movement by heading to our Together At Home campaign page, and taking action online to support frontline health workers and the global COVID-19 response.
You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.