When it comes to Indian celebrities, they have a large presence and influence in India. Given their huge screen presence, it is a lot easier for them to use their fame and put it to good use. While many do it for publicity, there are some who have been working continuously for social development and deserve our respect.
There are times when some Indian celebrities put their best foot forward to serve the society and their efforts went unnoticed. Here's an account of those times.
1. Shabana Azmi
A well-known social activist, she has voiced her opinion in a variety of issues, especially women's rights, and used the platform of movies and award shows to do so.
Shabana Azmi has been a pretty active social activist. She has voiced her opinion in a variety of issues and used the platform of movies and award shows to do so. In 1989, she went on a four-day march for communal harmony from New Delhi to Meerut. Along with working for women's rights and speaking openly against the objectification of women in the entertainment industry, she has fought against the stigma and injustice of those associated with AIDS.
2. Rahul Bose
He founded a parent organisation for many charitable organisations and NGO clusters in Mumbai and another NGO named Foundation, that focuses on providing education for children from lower economic backgrounds in A&N.
Apart from acting in many unconventional movies, this actor has successfully worked for the upliftment of the society. He founded the Group of Groups, a parent organisation of about 51 charitable organisations and NGO clusters in Mumbai and another NGO named Foundation, that focuses on providing education for children from lower economic backgrounds in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was also one of the first Bollywood celebrities to become the Oxfam Global Ambassador in 2007.
3. Nana Patekar
Nana Patekar has been donating money to widows of farmers in Maharashtra since last September and has been helping farmers financially through an NGO he co-runs with actor Makrand Anaspure.
Since September 2015, Nana Patekar has been donating Rs 15,000 each to widows of the farmers who committed suicide in the drought-hit Maharashtra. To relieve them of their debts, he collected Rs 80 lakh through an NGO Naam Foundation he runs with actor Makrand Anaspure, and distributed financial help to 113 families in Latur and Osmanabad in September. Earlier this month, he donated Rs 12.75 lakh to 85 such families.
4. Milind Soman
The actor has been a big support behind Pinkathon which promotes women's fitness and creates awareness about breast cancer.
The (nothing-short-of-sporting-a-Godly-look) combo of a model-actor-producer has been the biggest motivation and support behind Pinkathon, the 10 kilometer marathons that are held in several cities only for women. Pinkathon engages in educating and promoting fitness among women from all communities and backgrounds and creates awareness about breast cancer.
5. Nandita Das
She co-founded Leapfrog, an advertising organization geared towards making socially conscious ad-films and also started her own campaign 'Dark is Beautiful' which attempts to shun society's obsession with fair skin.
A woman who has defied societal norms boldly since the very beginning, she does not let a single role define her. Apart from acting, she is also active in directing, writing and social activism. She co-founded Leapfrog, an advertising organization geared towards making socially conscious ad films. She also started her own campaign Dark is Beautiful. Speaking against society's obsession with fair skin and industry's constant want for it, the actress does not endorse any fairness creams, does not paint her face white like most actresses with dusky skin in the industry do, and stands firm in her belief.
6. Gul Panag
From being associated with projects that involve saving the environment and rehabilitating young autistic adults to promoting fair trade opportunities for poor farmers, Gul Panag has been very active in the social work front.
Gul Panag has always been actively associated with social work. Apart from being a part of the Col. Shamsher Singh Foundation and Gul 4 Change, she has been a part of several projects such as Shraddha, a school that rehabilitates young autistic adults, Shop For Change Fair Trade - a concern which promotes fair trade opportunities for poor farmers such as the cotton farmers of Telengana, Vidarbha and Kutch, and Green Comandos - a citizen action initiative to save the environment. Way to go, Gul!
7. John Abraham
Apart from being closely associated with PETA, he also owns 'John's Brigade' that provides shelter for the needy.
The actor is closely associated with PETA and has been working for animal rights for a long time. Unlike many celebrities who serve a social purpose as a PR gimmick, he shies away from the media and works silently and solely to serve the cause. He even has his own brigade, ‘John’s Brigade’ that works towards providing shelter for the needy.
During Chennai floods, Siddharth did some really exceptional work and helped many by co-ordinating relief activities in the city by tweeting out advice, listing down supplies needed and guiding volunteers.
It is easy to play the role of a hero in a movie but when it comes to real life instances, it is a rare thing to experience. During the Chennai floods in 2015, Kollywood actor Siddharth, who acted in Rang De Basanti, went on ground zero and did some really exceptional work by co-ordinating relief activities in the city by tweeting out advice, listing down supplies needed and guiding volunteers. He also co-introduced the hashtag #ChennaiMicro that made it easy to coordinate and pick up parcels and give out other important information.
9. Nafisa Ali
Apart from working for the the Orissa Cyclone Relief Fund, she helped in reconstructing houses in 48 villages of earthquake-torn Gujarat and also started a care home for people with AIDS.
The former holder of the Miss India title, a national swimming champion and a brilliant actress, she has other accomplishments to her name - she was the Chairperson of the Congress Human Rights Commission in Delhi and led various women’s associations. Apart from working for the the Orissa Cyclone Relief Fund, she helped in reconstructing houses in 48 villages of Gujarat (which were destroyed in the 2001 earthquake) and also started a care home called Ashraya for those affected by AIDS.
10. Akshay Kumar
The actor opened free martial arts classes for women and also offered financial assistance to families of farmers who committed suicide in the drought-hit region of Marathwada.
Apart from launching free martial arts training school for women, the actor announced a donation of Rupees 90 lakh which will help as many as 180 families of farmers who committed suicide in the drought-hit region of Marathwada. Akshay's team donated Rupees 15 lakh to thirty widows on his behalf and plans to donate the same amount every month, for the next five months.
Thank you guys for being real-life heroes too. Way to go!