Actors might be busy with their hectic schedules of shooting, traveling from location to location and living most of their lives in greasepaint and in front of cameras and lights. However, there is another side to these actors. Many use their stardom for social causes to turn the spotlight on neglected issues and charity purposes.
In Mollywood too, charity work is perpetually linked to actors and their stardom.
Soniya Rasheed, for example, is not just a popular small screen actress. She is also in active politics as the secretary of the state Youth Congress. Soniya says, “I was interested in political activities and working for social causes from college. But it was after my marriage that I considered to participate actively in political causes and activities. My husband, who is very active in politics, influenced me to be a part of social causes by being politically active. He used to take me to various programmes and I could connect with people. In fact, I am not a politician, I rather like to call myself a humanitarian. It gives me power to reach the masses because I am a known face among the public thanks to my small-screen persona. People appreciate it when actors propagate issues like awareness about HIV, polio drops, etc.
“There is a notion that actors cannot speak more than a few lines but my strength lies in the fact that I can break those stereotypes.” Sonia is currently juggling politics and showbiz. She says, “I am not sure how many of us actually make use of the time efficiently. I think I can achieve the right balance in my life and career by prioritizing the tasks effectively. I am doing my LLB too, but these responsibilities never bog me down.”
Muthumani Somasundaram is well known for her acting prowess, be it in the theatre circuit or films. Now the actress is bringing these skills to the corporate world as a behavioural trainer.
“Theatre is a medium that teaches you not only to act but also develops you as an individual in every sense. It focuses on presentation, communication skills, teamwork and almost every other soft skill you can think of. I have been using these techniques for trainings and summer camps organised for school and college students and the response I received got me thinking, why not adopt it to the corporate environment as well? I have a corporate professional background too and that helped. So I have developed a module using my theatre experience to train corporates on their behavioural skills. It includes activities like role playing and body language,” says Muthumani.
These actors, who have hectic schedule in showbiz, say that they are confident about managing time in empowering people and they do it out of passion. Pearle Maaney, who became a well-known TV persona through a popular reality show, has come up with the venture, Bring Out The Best, along with her father to help people find their inner strength. Pearle says, “Whatever I do, I do it out of passion. In our society, many people lack awakening of their inner self. Bring Out The Best will act as an eye opener for those who find it difficult to find their inner beauty and help them turn a new leaf.”