It’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. Apart from the health concerns, there’s unemployment, rent crisis, among many other issues that are prevailing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, there are also people who have taken it upon themselves to help out the needy in ways that they can. Among them are those who are offering monetary support to the less fortunate, organisations that are distributing food and arranging transport for stranded people. And now, we have celebrities opening up their wardrobes to help raise funds.
Chennai-based entrepreneur Ann Anra’s one such initiative has garnered social media attention in the past week. The 30-year-old founder of Wasted Solutions, a two-year-old waste management company had launched a project called The Rebirth Collective. The initiative lets popular celebrities auction their pre-owned items such as clothes or accessories to help raise funds for families who are affected by the pandemic.
“I launched Wasted Solutions back in 2018 as a part-time project. But since last year, I made a switch to full-time waste management and tied up with Arpanam Trust along the way. The NGO that is run by Church Park sisters takes care of self-help groups and underserved communities across Tamil Nadu. Having registered in 1996, their main focus in women empowerment by upskilling and giving them a livelihood,” begins Ann, who used to be an IT professional.
“Earlier this month, a few tenants at the Perumbakkam Housing Board, Chennai’s largest slum rehabilitation tenement, got tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of which their work and livelihood around it got affected. I had this auction planned as an awareness campaign for a project that I had in mind, which basically encourages people to buy and sell second-hand items. After we heard of the plight of these people, we started a crowdfunding campaign by bringing the two ideas together. We got in touch with a few celebrities who were more than willing to collaborate for this cause,” she added.
Actress Nithya Menen was revealed as the first celeb who came on board for this project last Thursday. In a social media post, the actor announced that she's putting the custom made dress, that she wore for Lakme Fashion Week this year, up for auction. The bidding that went live on Sunday will go on till Wednesday night and the highest bidder will be asked to make the payment on the crowdfunding platform.
“The objective of this initiative is to help as many as we can, during and post the pandemic while raising awareness and encouraging people to reuse, repurpose and cherish second-hand products. As of the now, the responses have been amazing and we have already crossed 40k from the asking price. We have more celebs from various fields like sports and music lined up for this project. But we will reveal the names only on our Instagram handle every Thursday,” shares Ann.