Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Border Security Force (BSF), Financial services conglomerate HDFC Group, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and many more joined hands with others in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country by pledging to donate money to the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund).

According to reports, BSF contributed Rs 33.28 crore to the PM-CARES Fund to help strengthen the fight against the dreaded virus, which has claimed 53 lives besides infecting over 2000 people.

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"Bordermen have contributed their one-day salary to the PM-CARES Fund. It amounts to Rs 33,28,57,504," BSF spokesperson Subhendu Bhardwaj said on Thursday.

The 2.5-lakh strong force is the second among the seven Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the Ministry of Home Affairs after the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to donate to the PM relief fund created to meet the needs of the poor and the destitute in the fight against the deadly virus.

HDFC Group also committed Rs 150 crore to the PM CARES Fund to support the fight against coronavirus pandemic.

Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd, said: "These are uncertain and trying times for all of us. The HDFC Group's support to the PM CARES Fund is to commend the exemplary efforts of the Central, State governments, armed & paramilitary forces, local police, healthcare professionals and sanitation workers across the country, who are working tirelessly to fight the pandemic."

He hoped that in the aftermath of coronavirus, the country will emerge stronger, more conscious and as a compassionate nation.

An HDFC statement said its management and all employees across the group appreciate the steadfast efforts of all and wish for India to emerge stronger and more resilient at the end of this crisis.

Several corporate houses and businessmen have come forward with donations to the PM CARES Fund and state funds, along with initiatives to combat the deadly virus and provide relief to vulnerable communities.

The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund' (PM-CARES Fund) has been set up for providing relief to the persons affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Likewise, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has announced to contribute  to the PM-CARES Fund. The announcement was made in a joint statement released by co-owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's group of companies with the other entities also making a slew of other contributions.

Also Read: PM-CARES Fund: SBI Staff Commits Rs 100 Crore For Coronavirus Battle

"Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL franchise co-owned by Gauri Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla Mehta and Jay Mehta has committed to contributing to the PM Cares Fund," the statement said.

KKR also tweeted copies of the statement saying: "Whilst we stay safe at home,many r working for our safety & fending for themselves. Here's our little contribution to ensure their health & well being!Separate but together,we will overcome (sic)!"

"This crisis is not going to pass in a hurry, it will take its time and its toll on all of us. It will also show us that there isn't really a choice between looking out for ourselves and looking out for one another. There's nothing more obvious in the spread of this pandemic, than the fact that each one of us is inextricably connected to each other, without any distinction," said Shah Rukh in the statement.

"As a nation, and as a people, it is our duty to give it all we've got. I am going to try my best and I know each one of you will do so too. Only together we will be able to fight through these difficult and unimaginable days. Together, we will overcome."

Former India cricketer and BJP lawmaker Gautam Gambhir also pledged to donate his two years salary towards Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund.

"People ask what can their country do for them. The real question is what can you do for your country? I am donating my two year's salary to PM-CARES Fund. You should come forward too!" Gambhir said in a tweet asking other people to make contributions too.

He has already released Rs 1 crore out of his MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) Fund towards the relief efforts amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Before that, the BJP MP had said that his foundation, Gautam Gambhir Foundation, was distributing food packets to poor people in his constituency in New Delhi. East Delhi has a large number of daily wage labourers and many were not able to make arrangements for their food due to the 21-day lockdown.

The statement had also said that during the lockdown, 2,000 packets of food were being prepared and distributed by the foundation, and that efforts were being made so that no one should have to worry about food at this time.

Likewise, India's fielding coach R. Sridhar joined the battle against the coronavirus outbreak as he contributed Rs 4 lakh to the COVID-19 relief funds. While Sridhar contributed Rs 2 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund, he contributed another Rs 1.5 lakh to the Telangana Chief Minister's Relief Fund and Rs 50,000 to Secunderabad Cantonment Board.

Taking to Twitter, Sridhar wrote: "As a proud Indian citizen, I'm Duty-bound and honoured to contribute Rs 200,000/- to @PMCares, Rs 150,000/- to @TelanganaCMO & Rs 50,000/- to Sec Cantt Board. #COVID19outbreak #PMCaresFunds #PMCARES @narendramodi @PMOIndia @KTRTRS @BCCI @WHO #letsgetourcountrybackontrack."

Sportspersons across the globe have made contributions to help fight the pandemic and India skipper Virat Kohli along with actress wife Anushka Sharma contributed Rs 3 crore. India's limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma has contributed Rs 80 lakh while Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane has contributed Rs 10 lakh. Little Master Sachin Tendulkar also contributed Rs 50 lakh in his effort to help those in need.

Also Read: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma Contribute Rs 3 Crore To Coronavirus Relief Fund? Sources Say So

With the world coming to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, sportspersons are trying their best to donate and help the needy as much as they can in these trying times.

In fact, players' wages have also been cut in recent times and even a club like Barcelona had to ask its football stars to take a wage cut.

Meanwhile, Agricultural solutions provider UPL on Friday pledged Rs 75 crore to PM-CARES Fund for assisting in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the company said that it is also providing Personal Purchase Equipment (PPE) units to help with the safety of healthcare and sanitisation workers who are relentlessly fighting the battle against novel coronavirus.

"The company has also kept on standby, the premises of its educational institutions such as Gyan Dham School and Sandra Shroff Rofel College of Nursing, both at Vapi in Gujarat, with necessary arrangements to operate as quarantine centres as and when required," it said.

Jai Shroff, CEO, UPL Ltd said, "These are very challenging times for the entire mankind, and we find ourselves duty bound to serve the nation and assist with our resources and expertise in this critical fight."

UPL is also supplementing the central and state governments' efforts by engaging 200 modern mechanical spraying machines and 225 staff members to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The company teams are assisting local administrations by providing services of disinfectant spraying at various public and private spaces such as hospitals, streets, police stations, railway stations, municipal corporations etc, it said.

(With Agency Inputs)