Behind the never-ending glamour and high-octane action sequences in the lives of our Bollywood stars, there is a life of gratitude and thoughtfulness. These Bollywood biggies have now become the catalyst for social change. Not only are they associating themselves with social causes, but also are extending monetary help to the issues they believe in. This Independence Day, we take a look at a few of those who have used their name for a good cause.
The actor set an example by aptly using his fan base towards creating awareness. After creating a show like Satyamev Jayate that discussed social issues, the actor went ahead and founded Paani Foundation. Through an experiential training programme, the villagers of rural Maharashtra are equipped with both technical know-how as well as leadership skills to tackle the issue of drought in their villages. “In the next five years, Paani foundation wouldn’t be needed as all the villages will know by then how to do this. They shouldn't need us anymore. I am getting very strong support from the government, not monetarily but also in other ways,” he said.
Kareena Kapoor Khan:
For someone who couldn’t finish her education, Kareena Kapoor Khan has been actively been involved in promoting children’s education and the safety of women. She has been a brand ambassador of UNICEF for the past six years and talking about the issue close to her heart-educating girl child she said, “I didn’t get to complete my education and I know how important it is for children to complete their secondary education. So, it started with the discussion and opened up from there,” says the actor who also took up the issue of neo-natal health after her son was born. The actor has already done field trips to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and the North East and wants to get involved in reaching out to more people. “They spoke about things that I found relatable to talk about and people can relate to those issues,” she adds. In 2010, Kareena adopted the village of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh to provide the village with a regular supply of electricity and later took part in the international campaign, 1GOAL Education for All. She was also the ambassador of Shakti Campaign.
She is one actress who has always advocated for sustainable living and associated herself with environmental causes. The former Miss Asia Pacific in 2010 adopted and named two leopard cubs Ashoka and Nakshatra from the Prince of Wales Zoological Park, Lucknow. She is also actively involved with the Andhra Pradesh Government to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and female foeticide. Apart from that, she also supports PETA, Cancer Patients Aid Association, Greenpeace India, Coca-Cola Foundation, and CRY. The environmentalist has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The actress recently had a baby rhino (born at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy) named after her.
The actress likes to remain tight-lipped about her philanthropic activities. But her surprise visit to a rural school in Tamil Nadu made headlines in March. It appears that Katrina has been contributing a portion of her earnings from films and reality shows to the Mountain View School in Tamil Nadu. Her mother Suzanne Turquotte, who is a part of the Relief India Project, is also associated with the school. Despite her hectic shooting schedules, the actress ensures that her monthly donations reach the school on time and occasionally drops in to spend time with the kids.
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been associated with many causes and charity. After polio cases peaked in 2002, he was made the UNICEF goodwill brand ambassador for the Polio Eradication Campaign. In 2015, the actor made a startling revelation about surviving only on 25 per cent of his liver today, having lost the rest to the deadly Hepatitis B virus. Now, he is the goodwill ambassador for spreading awareness of the diseases. In an interview to a news channel, he had said, “I am absolutely committed to the cause of Hepatitis. As a person living with Hepatitis-B, I know the pain and sufferings that Hepatitis causes. No one should ever suffer from viral Hepatitis.”
The Satyameva Jayate actor has actively been involved in various philanthropic activities. John has helped to raise funds for the poor to build them safe and decent homes and has been associated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) through its numerous campaigns. The actor believes it’s only when we give back to the society we can foster change. “Unfortunately our country is capital of the World for certain unwanted happenings. I love India but we need to solve corruption, child molestation, rape, and women molestation. If we do not address who will do it,” he says.