Amitabh Bachchan-funded COVID-19 facility in Mumbai starts operations

Bachchan has donated around Rs 15 crore in the country's fight against the pandemic

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A COVID-19 care centre with 25 bed-capacity and oxygen availability, helped set up by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, began its operations here on Tuesday, filmmaker Anand Pandit said.

According to Pandit, the Hindi cinema veteran provided the Juhu-based Ritambhara Vishva Vidyapeeth facility with necessary equipment and infrastructure. "After a trial run, the centre was up and running by 10 am on Tuesday, May 18. Mr Bachchan has donated the equipment and infrastructure for the facility and all necessary permissions have been granted by the BMC," Pandit, who has collaborated with Bachchan on the thriller Chehre, said in a statement. In his blog post, dated May 16, Bachchan had said the 25-bed centre should be up and running by Tuesday taking into account the aftereffects of the Cyclone Tauktae.

Pandit, who has already helped set up a facility in Dadar along with superstar Ajay Devgn, is scouting locations to set up another facility in suburban Borivali.

Bachchan has donated around Rs 15 crore in the country's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which includes his contributions to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur COVID Care Centre at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib and a diagnostic centre at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in Delhi.  He has also made arrangement of oxygen concentrators from Poland, donated three detection machines to Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital, and is raising two children who have lost their parents to the virus at a Hyderabad-based orphanage.

Meanwhile, in a blog post on Monday night, the screen icon informed that his office Janak in suburban Juhu was flooded after Cyclone Tauktae hit the city last night.

"There is an eerie silence in the midst of the Cyclone... Flooding in the vulnerable Janak Office, impromptu plastic cover sheets still in prep for the heavy Monsoon rain, ripped apart .. sheds and shelters for some staff blown away," he wrote.

Bachchan said he shared his wardrobe with the staff whose uniforms were drenched as they repaired the office after the incessant rains.

"Staff simply amazing in such conditions .. their uniforms wet and dripping but they continue .. gave them dress changes urgently in this strife , from my own wardrobe and now they proudly move about as Chelsea and Jaipur Pink Panther supporters.