Akshay Kumar: Bharat Ke Veer going tax-free is my biggest birthday gift
As Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar turns 51 on September 9, he talks about his most special birthday gift this year, and how his fan clubs celebrate his birthday in a unique way — by doing good deeds.
Not one to “take this stress” about a number being added to his age each year, actor Akshay Kumar still lives in his “Khiladi times” with undiminished zeal. Having hit a spectacular half century in life, Akshay, as he turns 51 on September 9, talks to us about his most special birthday gift this year and how his fan clubs celebrate his birthday.
Fifty-one and still rocking... what keeps you going year after year?
I actually don’t take this stress of the number in my head about turning 50, 51, 55, 60, or whatever. I still feel I can have a lot of fun... I still feel I can run fast, feel like jumping. A couple of days back, I was giving a shot for Housefull 4 and the jump wasn’t required, but I still did it. I forget that I’m 51 now and I should keep away from it... I’m still thinking that I am in my Khiladi times and just doing action.
So, how are you celebrating your birthday this year?
Well, my son is studying in London, so I’m going to miss him... I’ve flown down to Mumbai for two days (from film sets at Ranthambhore) for my wife’s (Twinkle Khanna’s) book launch, plus I’ll get to spend my birthday with my wife, daughter, my mother-in-law and my mother. We are just going to sit and maybe have a drink (smiles).
Your brainchild, Bharat Ke Veer, is tax-free now. Was it just the perfect gift for your birthday?
Bharat Ke Veer going tax-free is my biggest birthday gift. Thanks to the government, the Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, for doing this in such a quick way. The app is doing so well with civilians contributing for the families of martyrs (soldiers).
Do you feel that now more people will be drawn to this noble cause?
Yes, because it’s tax-free, obviously more people will come forward. My dream is now to even get people and families whose son or father or brother have lost their limbs, on Bharat Ke Veer... Woh bhi haqdaar hain (They, too, are deserving). You can expand only when the money flow is more from the civilians’ side.
Even your fans celebrate your birthday by doing good deeds... holding blood donation camps, gifting lunch to disabled students, and so on. How does it feel?
I’m shocked myself that they do it every year, and they do it on their own. It’s not that anybody tells them; they believe in these things. I’m so happy and so grateful to them for doing such good things. Also, they do it according to my films — when I did Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, they did something with that, or if I did Pad Man, they planned on those lines. It means that my movies make a difference in their lives. Blood donation camps and all, they’ve been doing for ages. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel that I have such sweet people like them.
Have you ever met them or supported them with funds to organise any of this?
Whenever I am in [a particular] state, they contact my digital team. So, they come to see me, have a photograph, and I talk to them briefly and they are happy, that’s it. As for funds, you first need to know the genuineness of things. So, I find out, and then all kinds of help just keep on flowing to them slowly, and on its own. You see, you have to be careful also with these things, because you don’t want anything wrong to happen — there can be wrong people taking money from you and doing wrong things. But these fan clubs manage it all [themselves] and I’ve never come across any of them asking for any money from me.
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