Maharashtra: Muslims in Ichalkaranji town of Maharashtra, earned heaps of praises from Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackrey as they celebrated Eid festival by donating a 10-bedded ICU to the local government hospital with the help of money collected through Zakat, the traditional Muslim charity tax. The move as reported, is aimed at contributing to the state’s efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muslims reportedly collected charity worth Rs. 36 lac and donated a 10-bedded, well-equipped ICU to the Indira Gandhi Memorial (IGM) Civil Hospital in the town. The ICU is reportedly now ready to facilitate the fight against the spread of Corona Virus.

Even as Maharashtra is one of the worst hit states by COVID-19 in India, the town of Ichalkaranji has seen comparatively lesser number of cases, but the fear of spike in number of cases looms large. The town according to the 2011 census has a population of 2.88 lac people with 78.32% Hindu population and 15.98% Muslim population among others.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday inaugurated the ICU facility. Applauding the initiative, he said via video conference, “Muslims in Ichalkaranji have shown the way for everyone in the country. Till now, we have controlled the spread of coronavirus with courage and patience. Henceforth, public participation (to fight the pandemic) is necessary. The Muslim community has set an example on how to celebrate a festival.”

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Los Angeles, Sep 24: Hollywood star John Cusack on Saturday extended his support to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra and said he stands in solidarity with "anti-fascists everywhere".

Cusack, the star of blockbusters such as "Serendipity", "High Fidelity", "Con Air" and "2012", has been vocal about various global issues on social media.

Taking to Twitter, the 56-year-old actor wrote, "Indian parliament member Rahul Gandhi is walking to Kashmir - from Kerala."

After a user thanked Cusack for supporting Gandhi's campaign, the actor said, "Yes - solidarity - to all anti fascists everywhere!"

The actor had earlier extended support to the farmers' protests against three farm laws and to the students protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra will cover 3,570 km in 150 days. It started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.

The yatra, which entered Kerala on the evening of September 10, will go through the state covering 450 km, touching seven districts in 19 days before entering Karnataka on October 1.