Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal, who is also partner and brand ambassador of PokerHigh.com, is playing poker to raise funds for small NGOs.
As per a report in The Hindu, Rampal said “There was a big surge in the number of people logging in to play [poker] during lockdown. We thought why not use this skilled game to give back to smaller NGOs that have not been getting recognition.”
Different teams are representing the different charities, and players can choose which team to play for. “This is our third month and we get players from all over India. The winners get to keep what they win. Whatever stake the ‘bank’ makes goes to the NGOs,” Rampal says.
The initiative is supporting NGOs like Pudhiya Udhayam in Chennai, CUPA (serves animals) in Bangaluru, and Humanity for Animals in Kochi. Rampal said that with human lives, animal lives are also important. Out of the Rs. 2.11 lakh raised by PokerHigh, Rs. 72000 were given to CUPA, which helped feed over 150 dogs at the centre for a month. About Rs. 1.38 lakh were received by Pudhiya Udhayam, which helped provide dry rations to 500 families in need in Chennai.
Rampal signed as PokerHigh.com’s brand ambassador in 2017. Commenting on his poker skills, Rampal said, “My game is decent. But there is room for improvement.” He is spending time at home with his family during the lockdown due to the widespread pandemic.
Prodding his philanthropic side, Rampal added, “We have to be far more compassionate and be open to change. Panicking is not going to help. It is important to adapt and adjust. We need to stick with the new norms, maintain social distance, (and) wear a mask. A lot of people are just careless in the way they move around. If the pandemic has not shaken them up, then you should panic.”