Home CATEGORIES Business Ethics & Philanthropy Celebrity philanthropists: Akshay Kumar inspires many and donates millions

Celebrity philanthropists: Akshay Kumar inspires many and donates millions

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Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar inspires millions with his socially conscious films, and continues the good work offscreen with his philanthropy. While the actor earns well by doing three to four films in a year, Akshay never forgets to give back to the society and his fans who are the reason behind his success. The ‘woke’ action star made his debut last year in the Edelgive Hurun India Philanthropy List – which is usually crowded with businessmen and entrepreneurs – thanks to his Rs. 26 crore donation towards Covid-19 relief.
Akshay was one of the first personalities from Bollywood to contribute to the PM CARES Fund right at the start of the first wave of the pandemic. He donated Rs. 25 crores to the Prime Minister’s Fund and another crore to ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir’s charity for the same cause. The former cricketer revealed on Twitter that Akshay Kumar had donated Rs. 1 crore to his foundation during the deadly second wave to help people affected by the novel coronavirus. Gambhir wrote, “Every help in this gloom comes as a ray of hope. Thanks a lot @akshaykumar for committing Rs 1 crore to #GGF for food, meds and oxygen for the needy! God bless.”

Gambhir had said in an interview in 2021: “At this time, every contribution matters and I can’t thank Akshay enough for coming forward and supporting us in this crisis. When we spoke, he said, ‘Whatever you want during this COVID situation — oxygen cylinders, medicines, or whatever you want to do — please feel free to do it and I’d want to donate’. In fact, he also said why don’t we open an ICU or COVID centre with everything oxygen, ventilators and stuff.”
Around the same time, Akshay and his wife and author Twinkle Khanna shipped 100 oxygen concentrators and 5,000 nasal canules to another nonprofit, David Foundation. Twinkle took to Instagram to urge everyone to do whatever they can to help fight Covid-19. She also wrote that she was in a ‘bit of a hole’ for some time as her family was facing health issues. Akshay had recently recovered from Covid-19 after getting treatment at a Mumbai hospital.

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Flood relief and farmer support

Mid-2020 when Kerala, Assam and Chennai were left devastated as they were hit by floods that severely affected several families as they lost their houses, land, crops, many people lost their lives. The state government did all that they could to help the country. Akshay reportedly donated a sum of Rs. 1 crore each to not just Kerala but also Assam and Chennai.
A few years back, the state of Maharashtra was severely hit by one of the worst droughts. It resulted in farmers committing suicide as they were unable to pay for a living. As per reports, Akshay Kumar donated Rs. 90 Lakh to help about 180 farmers.

Building a shelter for transpersons

Akshay plays a transgender woman with compassion in the 2020 film Laxmii. The film’s director Raghava Lawrence heads a charitable trust. On completing 15 years since its foundation, the filmmaker wanted to celebrate by “initiating a new project for uplifting transgenders by providing shelter for them.” In an interview with Hindustan Times, the film’s director Raghava Lawrence said, “During the making of my film Kanchana, I had met transgenders, and listened to their painful stories, how they were suddenly orphaned, even when it’s how God made them. They would have to sleep at railway stations. That’s when I thought about this shelter, for which I bought a land in my native place in Chennai, I was explaining it to Akshay sir one day, and he asked suddenly ‘can I build this building?’ I was shocked, because we were planning to go to big people and ask them (for help), even doing a show through which we could collect funds, but here was Akshay sir.”
Akshay donated Rs. 1.5 crore to build the shelter for transgender persons in Chennai. He is supporting the construction of the home. Lawrence shared the “good news” of the actor’s new initiative with friends and fans along with some pictures on Facebook.

Insurance scheme for stuntmen

The actor launched an insurance scheme for the registered stunt directors in 2017. The family of deceased stunt director Abdul Sattar Munna has received a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh under the same scheme. Now, the actor has been asked to help those stunt choreographers who are above 55 years of age and therefore, aren’t eligible to have insurance in their name.
Akshay, who’s himself known as the action-hero of the film industry, had launched the insurance scheme following the death of a stunt director. The same scheme has helped the family of stunt choreographer Abdul, who passed away two years back while travelling to the set of a Malayalam film. Aejaz Gulab, general secretary, Movie Stunt Artistes Association told Mid-Day, “Two years ago, getting compensation of Rs 20 lakh for a stuntman’s family was impossible. But Akshay sir stepped in and procured accident insurance policies and medi-claim insurance for the 550 stuntmen registered with us. He even pays our premium.”

Concern for army men

During the promotions of Rustom, Akshay expressed his wish of serving the nation but destiny held something else in store for him. He is living his dream by choosing films with patriotic themes. He has played a soldier in Holiday and Kesari, a special agent in Baby and a naval officer in Rustom. The actor was applauded by many for showing his concern towards the families of 12 slain jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who were killed in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Saturday, March 11, 2017. He donated Rs. 1.08 crore to the families of the martyred jawans.
In August 2016, Akshay had donated Rs. 80 lakh to the families of army men. He gave Rs 5 lakh to each family and said our soldiers need money along with “samman”. In October 2016, while everyone was busy debating whether or not to ban Pakistani artistes in India, Akshay donated Rs. 9 lakh to the family of a martyred BSF jawan. The jawan had succumbed after being targeted by Pakistani snipers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from giving monetary help, in November 2016, Akshay visited BSF base camp in Jammu to pay tribute to soldiers who have lost their lives in ceasefire violations and encounters. While talking to the army men at the venue, the actor got emotional and called them the real heroes. He said, “Fortunate that I got the opportunity to come and meet you. I have always said I’m a reel hero, you are the real hero.”
In 2017, Akshay Kumar launched the Bharat Ke Veer app, with the help of the home ministry. The platform lets people send money directly to the bank accounts of family members of soldiers martyred in the line of duty. On The Kapil Sharma Show, Akshay said that he was only carrying out his responsibility as a citizen with the app. “Hum yeh kahenge, ki hum apna kartvaya nibhate hai… Jo shaheed hote hai, unka nuksaan hum kabhi bhar nahi paayenge. That is for sure. Sarkar unko jo deti hai, woh deti hai. Lekin, as a civilian, humara bhi toh kuch kartavya banta hai. Yeh aisa app hai… Na iske beech mein koi NGO hai, na koi sarkar hai,” he said.

Auction of film costumes

One of the suits that Akshay wore in Paresh Rawal’s film Oh My God (OMG) went under the hammer to raise funds for a school in Mumbai that provides pre-primary education. The actor donated the costume for Muktangan schools. “No one has ever become poor by giving. And taking that thought forward I’m auctioning one of my suits from OMG. The proceeds of this will go to Muktangan, who currently needs Rs. 15 lakhs to cover 60% of one of their pre-primary school’s annual budget. Come join me, spread the word and let’s Fund the Change,” the actor posted on Twitter.
Later, Akshay and his co-star Tamannaah Bhatia donated all the clothes from their film 2014 Entertainment to an animal welfare charity. Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals (YODA) is an organisation which works for the welfare of street animals. Kumar told IANS: “You see so many stray dogs everywhere and this organisation is for them, where they will be taken care of. People even throw out dogs after keeping them as pets for some time. YODA is a place where they will be given shelter.” Kumar added that he has purchased an item from the auction himself to kick-start the fundraising effort. Tamannaah was so impressed with the auction, she has decided to auction off all her clothes from her future films.

Helping out individuals

According to some reports, Akshay Kumar also helped a contestant of TV reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi by giving him Rs. 25 lakh after knowing that the contestant needed the prize money of the show for his father’s cancer treatment.
Acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal on whose life Deepika Padukone’s Chapaak was based is also an activist. Some years ago, she was struggling to make ends meet. Akshay came to her rescue and transferred Rs. 5 Lakh into her account so that she could fend for herself until she found a job, because medals, awards and certificates don’t pay the bills. Akshay said in an interview, “My contribution is a very small gesture. I am embarrassed to even mention it. The idea is that Laxmi should be able to search for a job with dignity, without having to worry about paying house rent or stressing about not being able to provide a nutritious meal to her baby.”

Menstrual hygiene and sanitation

In 2017, Akshay starred in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. In 2018, he played the lead in Pad Man. The actor has issued an urgent plea for menstrual hygiene to get the same attention as household sanitation got through the Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat scheme. “Menstruation and periods are still taboo words, just like toilets used to be before the Prime Minister’s speech at Red Fort on Independence Day 2014. We need a movement, a jan andolan like this in order to change that,” he said at a book release.
On International Women’s Day 2019, Akshay flagged off the ‘Run4Niine’ marathon in Hyderabad. The campaign was aimed at putting an end to taboos around menstruation. The actor said he was excited to be partnering with the organisers to encourage “an open and unashamed discussion on menstruation” with the fellow citizens, pad heroes, change makers and the path-breakers.
Akshay continues to inspire his fans and followers every day by being an example of a healthy and responsible citizen.