On behalf of the Indian film fraternity, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Tuesday appealed to all citizens to contribute to the cause of rehabilitating the flood-ravaged Kashmir.
Amitabh is the front-runner of the campaign Hum Hain...Umeed-e-Kashmir, an initiative of the entertainment industry, led by the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), the Film and Television Producers Guild and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEE). "When we see (the kind of things that have happened in) Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya or the Andhra Pradesh cyclone... when we see these things, I feel that as an Indian, whatever I am able to do for my nation, I must do," the 72-year-old said at a press conference.
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Calling himself a "small member" of the Indian film fraternity, the globally popular icon said that whenever the country has witnessed a disaster, "the nation's film industry has, without hesitation, tried to help people, and share their sorrows. During 45 years of my career, I have seen many such times when some disaster has hit the country, and the film industry has stood united for the cause and contributed towards it. I dedicate myself for this cause. I will do as much as I can do for Kashmir."
He added that he feels "immense sorrow" to see the post disaster photographs of the scenic land, which was once Bollywood's favourite destination to shoot.
Film producer Mukesh Bhatt, president of Film and Television Producers Guild, too was present at the occasion, which was also graced by Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal. Bhatt said it's like "payback time" for the film industry. "We feel emotionally committed to that land, and we must come together to help in its hour of darkness," Bhatt said of Jammu and Kashmir, which was left devastated after floods hit the region in September.
Hence, as part of the Hum Hain...Umeed-e-Kashmir campaign, a slew of celebrities from the film and music world will come together to perform for a charity concert, to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Delhi on Saturday. They will also appeal their fans and the public to donate generously for the cause.
From Gulzar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sharmila Tagore and Vidhu Vinod Chopra to Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra -- various known names are lending their support to the effort.
Sonowal said that on his part, he has waived off the stadium rental for the event, which he will attend only after buying the tickets. All money generated through sale of tickets, donations and sponsorships, will be given to select charities for relief work.