UTV creates the first ever telethon in India

MUMBAI: UTV Television Content is creating a fund raising seven-hour long Telethon for CRY; the first of its kind to be done in India. The Telethon will be aired on 26 January 2005 (from 1 pm to 8 pm) on Sony Television. Viewers will be able to pledge any amount of money by calling in on a phone line, via SMS, or Internet.

A grueling seven-hour live show is based on the theme 'India for its children'. The effort is all about raising money for the under privileged children of India. A star-studded line-up of Bollywood favourites, Indi-pop musicians, sports stars and trend-setting celebrities will rally for child rights with the entire nation.

Shedding light on the event, COO UTV Television Content Vikas Varma said, "A telethon is a very popular concept in America, but in India we are trying it on for the first time. For the last two years we have been trying to implement the idea but somehow it didn't materialise for it requires a lot of work at the backend. This time around, a virtual call centre has been set up at the film city where the actors would be dropping in as the shooting goes on. This telethon is not at all about entertaining viewers but pledging money for a noble cause."

The show promises to have celebrities from different walks of life - Shah Rukh Khan, Bipasha Basu, Gautam Singhania, John Abraham, Harsha Bhogle, Jackie Shroff, Makrand Deshpande, Raveena Tandon, Pooja Bedi, Diana Hayden to name a few. Stars will come on air narrating emotional and humorous anecdotes about their childhood. The celebrities will also share some heart rendering moments with the viewers.

Viewers can also get to enjoy the best of Bollywood and Indi-Pop performances, stand up comedy, interviews and musicals. The celebrities will appeal to their fans and viewers to contribute time or money to support this initiative.

Viewers can call on the tollfree number 1600221900. Hutch & BPL can sms on 8558 cry, followed by the amount they want to pledge. There will be volunteers who will be taking these phone calls and messages, on behalf of CRY.

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