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German doc working for Kolkata poor

Maria Furtwängler is the face of an international cosmetic giant, a TV actress in her native Germany and a doctor with Ärzte Für Die Dritte Welt (Physicians for The Third World).

india Updated: Jan 14, 2009 00:28 IST
Drimi Chaudhuri

Maria Furtwängler is the face of an international cosmetic giant, a TV actress in her native Germany and a doctor with Ärzte Für Die Dritte Welt (Physicians for The Third World). And she has an India connection, having brought healthcare to the doorsteps of many of Kolkata's poor.

The NGO works in countries like India, Philippines, Kenya and parts of Latin America. It runs healthcare projects and TB clinics across 15 slums in Kolkata, Howrah and South 24 Parganas.

She was in the city recently to visit the slums and check on the projects. She plans to go back home and raise more funds. “We all lead good lives. If we can do something for others, there’s nothing better,” she said.

Furtwängler said when L'Oreal approached her, her condition was it support the NGO’s projects, and Kolkata’s slums were top priority. “L'Oreal has decided to air a TV ad with me with a message at the end that some of the proceeds would go to the slums.”