New Jersey songwriter Jay Sean helps raise funds for India COVID-19 relief effort
Entertainers of South Asian descent stepped up to help this weekend as India deals with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world.
“My heart breaks for the people in India,” says singer-songwriter Jay Sean.
Sean says that the situation in India is very personal for him.
“It is my motherland, you know? I’m Indian. My parents were born in India. That connection there – it hurts that little bit more,” he says.
Sean, a longtime Bergen County resident, was born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti in England to Indian immigrant parents. He became the first performer of South Asian descent to reach No. 1 in the U.S. Hot 100 charts with his hit “Down.”
COVID-19 infections are soaring in India, setting a record on Saturday with 400,000 new reported cases. Shortages of ventilators and oxygen have left hospitals struggling as deaths top 3,000 per day.
“I hope the biggest thing is they can contain the spread,” Sean says.
He acknowledges that this is difficult in a country that is so populated and so poor.
“It’s so hot there and people are fainting on the streets there because they’re sick, they can’t breathe,” Sean says.
Sean joined other celebrities for the “Help India Breathe” fundraiser in conjunction with the charity Give India. It brought in more than $3 million for the relief effort.
Sean says that he hopes that it helps save lives.