Hrithik Roshan has decided to raise over Rs 20 lakh for four para-athletes who are keen to participate in the Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, next year. The actor took this decision after he read reports about Indian para-athletes not having access to adequate facilities and funding, unlike their counterparts across the world.
The beneficiaries of Hrithik’s gesture include swimmers Sharath Gayakwad and Niranjan Mukundan, and power-lifters Sakina Khatun and Rajinder Singh Rahelu.
A source close to the actor says, “After reading the reports, Hrithik got in touch with his friend, actor Kunal Kapoor, who runs a fund-raising organisation for athletes. Kunal put him in touch with the organisation that specifically helps raise funds for para-athletes.”
Hrithik will raise money through his apparel label, and will also collaborate with a few other brands for the same. “Each athlete requires close to Rs 5 lakh for their training, travel, tournament expenses, physiotherapy, massage sessions, supplements, shoes and apparel. Hrithik will tie-up with other brands to raise a sum of over Rs 20 lakh in two months. The money will be used to fund these athletes for the 2016 Rio Paralympics,” adds the source.
The actor will contribute to the fund with some personal investments too. In addition, the campaign will involve social media activities, photo shoots and interviews with these athletes, and more.
“Early in April, when I read reports about the treatment to para athletes at a sports meet, I was deeply saddened, but empowered to make a change. That’s when my team and I decided to help them realise their dream through a crowd-funding initiative,” says Hrithik, adding, “We not only want to raise funds for their training, but also create awareness amongst corporates and the masses about supporting Indian para-athletes. Through this, we want to celebrate their spirit and courage and create an example for others to follow.”