Bollywood seems to be setting a new trend in exploring rare diseases with directors casting superstars in roles which seek to raise awareness about such lesser known ailments.
NGOs and social workers are cheering the move which they say would result in an increase in the awareness and sensitivity among those who were ignorant of such diseases.
In the upcoming flick Paa, superstar Amitabh Bachchan plays a child affected with Progeria a rare genetic disorder where a child ages three times faster than normal.
Those affected by the medical condition usually have a short lifespan and the average patient survives only upto the early teens, say doctors.
However, some patients can live upto 30 years and the cause of death is usually related to the heart or a stroke. R Balki, Director, Paa accepts that cinema has the strength to help disease affected people by portrayal.
"Yes, it definitely creates awareness and sensitivity about patients affected with any disease which is less known to people," says Balki.
Big B plays a 13-year- old who looks 39 in the film, in which actors Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan are cast as parents.
Sekhar Chattopadhyay, of the SB Devi Charitable Trust in Kolkata, which looks after a family affected by projeria, says, "Amitabh Bachchan playing a projeric will definitely make people aware about this very rare disease."