In January when it was announced that Chris was going to be the curator of Global Citizen for the next 15 years, I wondered what exactly his role was going to be. Whether he would just be another celebrity who has their face slapped on a campaign but actually does very little to improve conditions for people, or whether he would actually help people in need and make a difference in the world. Fortunately it has transpired to be the latter.
Recently, Chris made a visit to India with Global Citizen and Oxfam and met people in need. The trip was unannounced to the general public, the first the majority of people knew of it was when he made that appearance at a bar in Delhi.
It was a completely out-of-the-blue event. So unexpected and unplanned that even the owner of the bar himself was absent, having gone home from work just a matter of minutes before Chris went onstage! Twitter was rife with rumours, desperation and devastation. There were fans of Coldplay frantically searching for answers as to why Chris had finally come to India and performed, but without his band. There were devastated people who had missed his performance yet were actually in Delhi. One poor girl was even at the same bar, but was upstairs and so did not hear the scene unfolding below! Talk of Coldplay performing a concert in India was naturally the first thing that anybody thought of and began to talk about. But a few hours later it transpired why Chris was actually there.
Here’s a video of Chris’s full performance, in case you missed it:
The next morning when the furore around the gig had died down, it came to light why Chris had actually paid a visit to India. On July 1st he visited the Kalyanpuri slum in Delhi with some others from The Global Poverty Project, including Indian actress Freida Pinto. He had also met Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss sanitation projects in the country.
While in Delhi he met some local children and sang a few songs for them, here’s a video of that:
We didn’t know much about the details of this visit recently, until coldplay.com published a blog written by Gunjan Jain from Oxfam India….which you can find here.
This blog post truly made me realise how much Chris cares and genuinely wants to make a difference. It made me push any initial skepticism about his involvement with Global Citizen that I had completely out of my mind. He isn’t doing this to make himself look good, or for publicity:
“The directives were clear. No photographers. No video cameras. No media hype. I begged and pleaded for at least one print or TV interview but there was only one focus. Chris wanted to meet the families and people directly.”
And he really gets involved with the people:
“He connects with them in that moment. He feels their joy and happiness, their struggle and resilience. He smiles along with them, not for them. I think that’s why his music touches so many hearts.”
Chris rounded off his trip to India with a meeting with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The aim of the meeting was to discuss ways to improve people’s lives and end poverty in India by 2030 as part of the Global Poverty Project.
Following Chris’s visit to India with Global Citizen it was announced that Coldplay will be headlining the Global Citizen Festival in New York City in September. You can find out more about how to get tickets here. I’m looking forward to seeing the band perform again, as are all Coldplay fans. But we should remember the reason they are there and try to get behind Chris in his endeavours with Global Citizen. It is refreshing to see someone with so much truly care for the people who have nothing, and it only makes me prouder to call myself a Coldplay fan.