Call it the Slumdog Millionaire effect, but Hollywood now has its eye firmly on India, especially on the plight of the street children. Oscar-nominated actor Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays Batman’s love interest in the 2009 superhit The Dark Knight, arrives in the country today to do her bit to spread awareness about the cause.
“Protecting children’s rights is a universal responsibility that requires global commitment from us all,” says Gyllenhaal, who arrived in Mumbai today with husband Peter Sarsgaard. The two will be inaugurating the SOS Alibaug Children’s Village. This village has been set up by the SOS children’s villages — the world's largest orphan and abandoned children's charity — along with Esprit.
Both Maggie and Sarsgaard are global brand ambassadors for the SOS project and are keen human rights activists. Stressing on the situation and especially the state of street children in Mumbai, Gyllenhaal says, “Despite the dynamic economic advances India has enjoyed in recent times, it may be hard to accept that India has the largest population of street children in the world with at least 18 million living and working on the streets. There are approximately 2,50,000 in Mumbai alone.”
She adds, that giving children a chance a to grow up with love and security is a cause that should be taken up universally.