He plays the baddie in Bollywood potboilers, but Sonu Sood has proved to be a hero figure in the global pandemic. He launched a toll-free helpline for stranded workers, airlifted 177 Odia girls stuck in Kerala and arranged buses for thousands of migrants in Mumbai to travel to their hometowns in other States.
Sood’s ‘Ghar Bhejo’ campaign has been gaining traction. He confessed to working 22 hours a day in a bid to get as many people home as he possibly can. So inspired was celebrity chef Vikas Khanna by these selfless acts, he dedicated a new dish to Sood’s village Moga in Punjab, and even joined the campaign to donate meals from his end.
Cricketer Suresh Raina retweeted a video of Sood personally seeing off migrant families in one of the buses and urging them to wear masks.
Sood has been providing food and water to 45,000 people every day. Khanna took to Twitter recently to thank the National Disaster Response Force for their support, and announced that they’ve just reached the mark of 7 million meals. Last month, Sood had offered his hotel in Mumbai for healthcare professionals to stay in.
Corona warriors from Bollywood
Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan have given out their four-storey office in Khar to the local authorities for being used as quarantine facilities. The power couple announced a series of initiatives last month, along with SRK’s business partner Juhi Chawla who co-owns IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
Apart from a substantial donation to the PM CARES fund, their relief package includes PPE kits for health workers, feeding 5,500 families every day, distributing meal kits to other families, essential necessities for daily wage workers in Mumbai, and groceries for 2,500 workers in Delhi.
Helping film industry workers
Salman Khan came to the rescue of artistes depending on the film industry for their daily wages, rendered jobless since film shoots have ceased. When it comes to acts of charity, the first name from the Bollywood film industry that pops up is Salman Khan, so you wouldn’t expect him to keep mum during these difficult times, would you?
The star’s foundation Being Human has been extending financial support monthly to 25,000 daily wage artistes from film industry workers’ union FWICE (Federation of Western India Cine Employees). Out of the 5 lakh workers registered with the union, these 25,000 need financial help the most.
Meanwhile, Amitabh Bachchan made a pledge to support one lakh families of film industry workers, from makeup artists to line workers and spot boys, from AIFEC (All India Film Employees Confederation).
Salman also made a public plea to all his fans to donate rations to the needy. He is spending the lockdown at his farmhouse in Panvel. He used the local farmers’ bullock carts and tractors to send out rations to nearby villages.
Many other stars have been coming forward with generous donations. Akshay Kumar made a 25-crore donation to the PM CARES fund and gave INR 2 crores to the Mumbai Police. Actor Ajay Devgn and his director buddy Rohit Shetty have each donated INR 51 lakhs for film industry workers. As the net of the deadly virus widens, more corona warriors from Bollywood are showing their heroism in real life.