‘Forced’ charity? | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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‘Forced’ charity?

entertainment Updated: Sep 15, 2010 02:55 IST
Namya Sinha

Socialites who happily signed to walk the ramp for NGO Khushii’s charity event to be held tonight, didn’t know there was a catch — a ‘compulsory charity amount’ for the honour. Though all for a good cause, some feel forced charity was a bit much.

The event includes a fashion show by Delhi’s top designers with ‘real life achievers’ walking the ramp. A source reveals that while the organisers initially convinced the glitterati to walk the ramp, they were later told that they would each have to “donate R1 lakh” for the media attention it would fetch them. Many backed out, even as the amount was brought down to R50,000. When contacted, those approached, however, gave different reasons for not taking part.

“Yes, there is an obligatory charity of R50,000 per person, and if I and my husband were to walk, we’d have to donate R1 lakh,” said designer Vandy Mehra, but added, “I didn’t have any issues with that — I’m just busy with too much work.” “I was supposed to walk the ramp, but I am travelling,” said socialite Neena Verma. “I’ve heard people were asked to pay the obligatory donation, but I was not asked. I’ve been busy with Eid celebrations and won’t be walking the ramp,” said P3P Ammu Saidi.

A woman restaurateur, on condition of anonymity, said, “The organisers asked me to pay R50,000 if I was to walk the ramp, but I’ll be travelling.” Officials of Khushii, which has patrons such as ex-cricketer Kapil Dev, defended, “We requested for a donation, but there is no obligation. There are those who are walking the ramp and are not paying anything,” says Sukriti Chopra, head, Khushii.