It’s big-time charity season in Bollywood these days, with one actor after the other giving away fat wads for causes close to their heart. While Akshay Kumar is reportedly donating Rs. 3 crore to a judo-karate academy this year in a bid to promote the sport, taking the lead from him is Anil Kapoor, who has just fulfiled his wish of donating his entire Slumdog Millionaire fee — Rs. 4.3 crore — to charity.
“I think I have never done enough ... I would love to do still more,” said Kapoor after donating his earnings from Danny Boyle’s multiple Oscar winning 2008 directorial to Plan India, an NGO that supports the cause of the girl child.
Bhagyashri Dengle, executive director at the NGO, confirms having received half a million pounds as charity from Kapoor, and is all praise for him. “He is helping us since the last six years,” she says.
Anil and Akki aren’t the only ones feeling philanthropic these days. During Durga Puja, actor Vidya Balan reportedly donated Rs. 10 lakh to the Eastern India Cinetel Welfare Trust, which works towards the welfare of Bengali technicians.
Other big Bollywood-ians who have been involved in big-buck charity of late include actor Sanjay Dutt who donated Rs. 2.5 lakh towards the treatment of a cancer stricken child, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra who donated Rs. 1crore to an initiative called Real Heroes, actor-director Farhan Akhtar who gave Rs. 15 lakh towards rural empowerment and the father of them all — Rajinikanth, who donated Rs. 10 crore to a religious shrine in Andhra Pradesh.
In Hollywood, however, celeb philanthropy is not new. Many actors such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been involved in different causes, and some among them prefer to keep these anonymous.