In 1971, a civil war and resulting humanitarian crisis had broken in East Pakistan, the state which would eventually become the sovereign state of Bangladesh. The conflict created a massive refugee influx, with tens of millions of peoples displaced across the region, leading to widespread disease, food shortages, and suffering among civilians.
Shankar, who was of Bengali origin, feared as he watched people he knew suffer and began scrambling to assemble the musicians around him to do something to help. Eventually, he was able to persuade Harrison that the cause was worthwhile, with the former Beatle putting his full musical force behind the concert. The two recruited an amazing roster of talent including Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Badfinger and others to perform at two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.
The resulting shows raised close to $250,000 for UNICEF, ultimately helping millions of suffering refugees and helped bring Western attention to the widespread issues that were taking place in Bangladesh.
Watch more about the Concert for Bangladesh below: