In the last two months, India has witnessed four lockdowns. While the rules and restrictions under each lockdown continued to change, what remained consistent was the plight of the migrants left stranded on roads, struggling to reach home.
Even as the government scrambled to arrange transportation for these workers, actor Sonu Sood stepped up. In over two weeks, he has helped thousands of migrants safely reach home.
In an interview with Anupama Chopra for Film Companion, the actor talked about what motivated him to reach out to the migrant workers, what keeps him going in the face of such abject misery, and how he plans to continue his 'ghar bhejo' mission.
Sood, who first started helping the migrants by partnering with his childhood friend Niti Goel and providing them rations, talked about first coming in contact with migrants walking home.
Sonu Sood also recounted, humbly, how things had changed. At one time, he was told that his name would not take him far in the industry, and today, he has a child named after him.
He also shared what that triggered him to go beyond donations and instead, take on a hands-on approach towards the migrant crisis.
A gesture that started with arranging ten buses, has today transformed into a full-fledged mission with a team working round the clock to help those in need. And while help has poured in from friends and family, it's no easy task.
And yet, when Anupama asked him, 'thakan nahi hoti?', his response was a lesson in humanity that we'd all do well to learn from.
However, as Anupama Chopra rightly pointed out in her interview, while Sood may have stepped up, as a society, we've all let down our own citizens. And in Sood's opinion, these are the very citizens who've literally, built this country.
He also talked about how the migrant crisis, and their condition during the pandemic, is a failure of our society as a whole.
As this interview proves, it is this sense of empathy and humility that gave Sonu Sood the courage and impetus to stand up for those who'd been abandoned by both, the society and the government. And his efforts are an example of what a single man's dedication can achieve.
You can watch the complete interview here: