Every year, an initiative called Real Heroes picks 24 Indians, who in their own small way, are trying to bring about change and awareness in society in the field of womens’ empowerment, environment, youth and social welfare among others.
The 24 activists are then given a platform where they are saluted for their efforts. This year when Bina Kalindi’s name came up, many personalities present at the ceremony were left misty-eyed. At the fore was director-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
Fourteen-year-old Bina has been fighting a battle against child marriage in her village Purulia, West Bengal for years now. She diligently goes from door to door, spreading awareness and convincing families of the ills of this social evil. And to help her carry on her efforts, Chopra donated R 1 crore to her.
“It’s a help from my end. It is incredible what these people are doing. It requires a lot of courage to be selfless, but unfortunately, due to lack of funds many of them are unable to continue with their goals and are forced to shut down,” says Chopra, who reiterates that films too have been a constant source of spreading knowledge. “Films do serve as a platform to reach out to mass audiences and create awareness. I would like this money to be used as aid for these heroes.”
The grand finale of the Network18 initiative, Real Heroes, which is in its fourth year, will be aired on CNN-IBN towards the end of the month. The producer of the Munnabhai films and the forthcoming Ferrari Ki Sawari starring Sharman Joshi is himself the father to a young girl and boy.
In the same vein, he reiterates Bina’s efforts saying, “Child marriage should be eradicated completely. It is a social evil that destroys the innocent childhood and shatters the kids emotionally and physically. What Bina has stood up for is remarkable and very brave.”