Actress Genelia D'Souza says she has become more aware of the extent of poverty in India after hosting reality TV show Big Switch, which featured 10 rich children who gave up their comfortable lifestyles to fulfil the dreams of slum children.
"Big Switch was about a rich dreamer giving up his dreams to make another dreamer's wish come true - helping someone who couldn't afford to realise his or her dream. I have seen some of the most emotional moments between the rich and poor kids, which has given me a serious reality check in life," Genelia told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"There's so much poverty in India, yet the people in slums have the courage to dream. I took up Big Switch simply because it was a reality show in good light. The concept exuded positivity, and the soul of the show was very clean," she added.
The show, which aired on UTV Bindass, had its finale Saturday. Genelia played a host, a friend and an advisor to all the children throughout the show. She says she was extremely touched during one episode.
"I have seen the rich kids do some of the sweetest things for their slum friends. I have seen them going to the extent of collecting cow dung with their bare hands - and all this for someone they have no relation with. I had tears in my eyes that day and it really gave me a reality check," the 22-year-old said.
Though Genelia is happy with the way her small screen debut turned out, she isn't too sure if she will be seen on television shows again soon.
"I haven't really thought about doing any other shows on TV. Films are my main focus at the moment. I have been working very hard for them," she said.
Genelia has been juggling between the southern film industry and Bollywood for the past five years but it was Imran Khan-starrer Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na that brought her to the forefront of Hindi movies.
Her latest movie Chance Pe Dance, which paired her with Shahid Kapoor, released to average reviews on Friday. Genelia is now working with the likes of Anees Bazmee in It's My Life and David Dhawan-John Abraham in Hook Ya Crook.
Asked if there were any specific roles she wanted to do, Genelia said: "I have never planned my career. Whatever comes my way, I try and make the best of it."