iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 08, 2012
Besides the festivity and fun, Diwali tends to bring lots of air pollution. And when the young children of one of Akshay Kumar’s friends learnt about the extreme damage that bursting crackers causes to the environment, they decided to do something noble with the money they had saved up for the festival.

The actor’s childhood friend Ravi Karle’s kids, Tejas (17) and Gayatri (13), had collected Rs. 11,000 each to buy crackers. But now, they have asked Akshay to donate that money on their behalf towards a charitable cause. “Last year, Akshay had a long chat with them and he explained to them what bursting crackers does to the environment,” says an insider close to Akshay.

As a result, the kids refused to spend the money on firecrackers this year. They only spent a small amount on some sparklers and phuljharis (diwali crackers).

“A few days ago, when the two went to meet Akshay with their father, they handed him two cheques collectively worth Rs. 22,000. They asked Akshay to send the money to a cause he truly feels needs the help,” adds the insider. Since the actor has only received the money recently, he is yet to decide whether he should give the funds to a charitable organisation or an individual.

“Since it is Diwali, he is hoping he can give it to someone who doesn’t have the means to truly celebrate the festival. He has already asked his staff to keep an eye out for any people who might really need the money,” adds the insider. Although Akshay remained unavailable for comment, Karle says: “For around a year, the cheques have been lying with us. But now, the kids are happy that they have handed them over to Akshay.”