K-pop fans have been known to step up amid global crises, and the latest instance of this involves BTS fans in India raising over 2 million rupees (around £20,000) to help the country combat its second wave of COVID.
In just under 24 hours, a fundraiser on crowdfunding site Milaap exceeded its target of Rs.2,000,000. The money is going towards oxygen cylinders, medical supplies, community kitchen initiatives, and ration kits for patients as well as the homeless.
The coronavirus situation in India has worsened over the past few weeks, and the country's health ministry announced yet another record number of cases and deaths in the last 24 hours, with 379,257 new cases and 3,645 new deaths.
“India is currently facing one of the worst covid outbreaks in the history of the pandemic,” the crowdfunder reads. “The second wave is far deadlier than the first and our healthcare infrastructure is under a lot of pressure. Individuals, as well as organisations, are trying to support the needs of the many affected by covid as best as they can.”
The K-pop group and their fans (AKA the BTS Army) are well known for supporting important causes, with stans matching the group’s $1 million Black Lives Matter donation last year. Fans have also helped Syrian refugees in Europe, donated cameras to students in Kenya and raised funds for safe drinking water projects in the US.
No strangers to fighting for social justice and racial equality either, the Army mobilised recently after a comedy television show in Chile aired a parody sketch mocking the band and the Korean language. Last month, the group took to social media to speak out against anti-Asian hate and shared their experiences of racism.
BTS's forthcoming May track “Butter” is their second English language single since “Dynamite”. As a teaser of sorts, the group posted an hour-long clip of animated melting butter on YouTube, which has so far racked up over 13 million views.
In addition to their recent (and unexpected) collaboration with McDonalds, the K-pop icons were also announced as Louis Vuitton’s official brand ambassadors.