Sonu Sood on helping migrant workers: There are over 70,000 people on the waiting list, and many more contacting us
Sonu Sood has taken it upon himself to unite migrant workers with their families and make them reach their homes safely amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and nationwide lockdown. And his relentless efforts have earned him admiration and adulation from all parts of the country. More so because his endeavour isn’t just limited to Maharashtra, as he has been getting requests from all over India.
“My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the day our buses filled with people went to Karnataka. I’ve been missing out on calls and messages, which is why I started the toll free number. That’s also flooded with calls. There are over 70,000 people on the waiting list, and many more contacting us,” says Sood, who recently arranged a chartered flight for 177 migrants stuck in Kerala and sent them back to Odisha.
Now, the actor has booked three trains to send migrant workers stuck in Mumbai to their homes in UP and Bihar.
Sood,46, explains that journey by trains and flights save time and can accommodate more people. “Buses would take longer and also we’d need to take permissions from every state it crosses, which takes time. Thanks to everyone, who has been extending supporting. Itne saalo se dost hi to kamaye hai maine, wahi abhi mera saath de rahe hain,” he adds.
Risking his own and his family’s health, Sood steps out daily so that work runs smoothly.
“My team and I take necessary precautions. I need to step out to monitor everything, check if things are in place. I don’t believe in half-hearted efforts,” says the Simba actor, who has donated to charities, offered his Juhu hotel to health-care personnel and provided food to 25,000 migrants during Ramzan.
No doubt he’s been showered with love, so much so that one migrant worker has named her son after the actor. “Their smile films my heart, makes me believe I’m serving the purpose of my life,” says Sood.
Recently, Governor of Maharashtra, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, congratulated the actor, and “assured me with help whenever required”. Sood’s industry colleagues, filmmaker Farah Khan, actors Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Suniel Shetty, among others, have also been praising him.
Has anyone also extended financial support too, we ask. “Initially, I was doing things on my own, but now many people from within the industry and outside have come forward to help. Some are keen on sponsoring a bus or book tickets for migrants. Like Farah provided drinking water. It has become like a movement now,” he concludes.
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