How Kunal Kapoor has come to the rescue of Rambo Circus troupe stuck in Mumbai due to lockdown
For the Rambo Circus troupe, things have been very tough since March 13. Stranded in Mumbai with the entire crew consisting of women, children and animals, their basic necessities and funds were running out, until actor Kunal Kapoor stepped in.
Sujith Dilip, the owner and manager of the circus tells us, “Basically, from Sanpada (Maharashtra), we were shifting to Airoli, when the Chief Minister of Maharashtra declared public places to be shut down. In that category, consisting of movie theatres, we were also there. We shut down right away. After that, the PM, too, announced the lockdown, we never expected or were prepared for such a thing.”
Kapoor, who co-founded the crowdfunding platform Ketto eight years ago, was contacted by one of the circus’ fans. “We were suggested we should do this, as he wouldn’t charge and it would take care of at least one and a half months’ of staff welfare items and food. We have reached 60 percent of our goal. Kunal ji has not charged a single penny from us. Being an artist, he wants to help other artists,” adds Dilip.
Meanwhile, the municipality of the area, along with some NGOs has also provided them with free water supply among other things. He continues, “We are staying at a ground in Airoli, where we had put up our tent. It is like a campus, and we are obeying the orders of the government. Nobody has gone anywhere, and we are inside, social distancing. We don’t want to be a burden on anyone. We were hoping to get a bank loan, but we are such a sector who is always neglected, nobody helps us. I have already done a lot of things, but there are so many rules and regulations, it’s difficult.”
When contacted, Kunal tells us that they are running a lot of campaigns for the fight against Covid-19.
“We have already raised about Rs 10 crores for NGOs, individuals, for migrants, to provide shelter and feed stray animals. Someone reached out to us for Rambo Circus, and said that they were performing in Mumbai when the lockdown happened. They haven’t been able to move from there, and the only way they make money is by going from one show to another,” he shares.
Acknowledging their dire need for funds, Kapoor adds, “Right now, they obviously don’t have money for the essentials. We have just started the crowdfunding, the target is about Rs 8 lakhs, because they need enough money to sustain for some time. We have raised Rs 3 lakhs. The government is also providing them some assistance, and they need more as the troupe is huge.”
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