iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

Serena Menon, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 11, 2010
Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played Batman’s love interest in The Dark Knight (2008), arrives in Mumbai today to lend a helping hand to the city’s homeless children. Esprit, in association with SOS children’s villages — one of the world’s largest orphan and abandoned children’s charity, is bringing down the Hollywood actor and her actor husband, Peter Sarsgaard, both global brand ambassadors for SOS, along with Esprit CEO, Ronald Van Der Vis to inaugurate the SOS Alibaug Children’s Village. This area will focus on improving the state of orphans and underprivileged children in the country.  

Gyllenhaal says, “Despite the dynamic economic development, it may be hard to accept that India has the largest population of street children in the world with at least 18 million living and working on the streets. There are approximately 2,50,000 in Mumbai alone.”

The village, financed by Esprit as a part of their CSR activities, falls under the campaign Big Bang. According to them, the banging of a drum is universally recognised as a symbol of celebration. Eleven Esprit stores around the world will house a Super Drum, where people will be made aware of the situation of homeless children and asked to bang the drum. Esprit will donate another 500,000 euros to the village when three million bangs have been hit. The campaign will commence on November 13.

“The street kids in Mumbai and elsewhere in the world are denied the right to a family. Protecting their rights is a universal responsibility that requires global commitment from us all,” adds Gyllenhaal. SOS currently reaches out to 132 countries. Gyllenhaal and her husband will inaugurate the village with a bhoomi puja.