The lockdown has been a time of great uncertainty and, regardless of their social status, people have been affected in one way or another. It is true, however, that frontline healthcare workers, migrant workers and daily wagers mostly had to endure really tough days.
In these difficult times, a number of good samaritans have come forward either as individuals, as part of charities or corporate CSR workers. Among these heroes, there were also a few reel life characters, made famous thanks to their films in Bollywood.
As we approach the anniversary of the lockdown, Social history shares the contributions of some of these actors who have done their utmost to help people in distress cash and in-kind donations and distribution drives.
Sood at the end
Actor End Sood
Actor, humanitarian, hero these three words perfectly describe the villain of the reel life, Sood at the end. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Bollywood actor-turned-real-life hero has constantly been on his guard to help those most affected.
During the first days of confinement, Sood came forward to make life easier for disadvantaged people by providing them with regular meals. Its efforts to provide jobs for migrants through Pravaasi Rojgar makes the actor a sort of messiah for migrants. Learn more about Sonu Soods’ pandemic initiatives here.
Swara Bhasker distributes shoes to migrant workers.
Despite her busy schedule with the filming of Rashbari, actress Swara bhasker took to the streets to help migrant workers return to their hometowns. Inspired by Sonu Sood, she launched an initiative to organize transport for migrants in distress and provide them with basic necessities such as shoes to facilitate their journey.
With the help of his team, as well as the Delhi government, the actor also gathered the data needed to identify the people who were hard to get home. Immediately afterwards, she managed to organize one-way train and bus tickets for everyone. She also worked with Relaxo, Action Shoes and other local shoe dealers to collect shoes and distribute them to daily workers.
Shah Rukh Khan
Bollywoods Badshah Shah Rukh Khan donated 2000 PPE kits to health workers from Chhattisgarh and around 20,000 N-95 masks in Kerala Later in the year. He also donated his office space as a quarantine facility.
His NGO Meer Foundation also came to the rescue of a toddler who was trying to wake up his dead mother. By placing the little one with his grandfathers, the foundation promised to help him in his education.
Apart from this, the NGO has worked with other organizations to help, among others, the daily wage earners and the urban poor cope with the pandemic.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar was a major contributor to the cause of the pandemic in 2020. In the early days of the lockdown, the actor donated Rs 25 crore to PM-CARES fund, as well as Rs 2 crore to the Mumbai Police Foundation, Rs 3 crore to BMC for making PPE kits and masks, and Rs 45 lakh to Association of Cinema and Television Artists.
The actor has also been very vocal in advocating for safety precautions during the pandemic.
At the start of the lockdown, actress Priyanka Chopra promised $ 100,000 to four womenn for their exceptional efforts during locking. She also worked with audio equipment maker JBL to provide headphones for children in Los Angeles that fit into the new classroom.
It has also partnered with an NGO to provide medical assistance and education underprivileged children, seriously affected by the pandemic.
Actor Shabana Azmi
Veteran Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi helped over 10 lakh across India through the NGO ActionAid India. She helped distribute ration kits, ready-to-eat meals, sanitation and hygiene products for migrant workers, and daily bets in 172 districts in 21 states.
Moved by the plight of frontline healthcare workers and their war on the pandemic, actor Farhan Akhtar donated 1000 PPE kits at government hospitals across India. He also launched a campaign to get others to contribute to the widespread cause of the pandemic.
He even promised to send a personal thank you message to all contributors.
Like its humanitarian organization, Being Human, actor Salman khan started Being Haangryy, a food truck with volunteers who distribute ration kits to people in dire need of food.
Additionally, he donated one lakh disinfectants to the Mumbai Police, which were produced under his brand called FRSH. Apart from that, he also started the Anna daan challenge to get people to give rations to the poor.
With his wife, Tahira Kashyap, Ayushman Khurrana pledged support for women rag pickers through the non-profit organization Gulmehar. The NGO works with ragpickers who have become artisans, and Khurranas’ contribution is to help these women.
The actor also donated to PM-CARES Fund.
Through the Ajay Devgn Films Foundation, the actor donated oxygen cylinders and ventilators to a health center in Dharavi, Mumbai. The health center was a care facility dedicated to COVID-19.
The actor, director and producer also donated ration kits to around 700 families in Dharavi.