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Stars for Delhi Police: Will Bollywood support law enforcers’ social causes in 2018?

After actors Salman Khan and Sidharth Malhotra, Delhi Police plan to rope in Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor Khan to spread awareness on its public interest campaigns.

delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2018 16:21 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Delhi Police,Salman Khan,Himmat app
Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra joined Delhi Traffic Police and promoted a campaign against drink driving and stunt driving. He is seen here at an event held at India Gate, central Delhi, in 2017.(Photo: Manoj Verma/ HT)

Bollywood and sports personalities often extend their support to government campaigns for the betterment of society. Some campaigns being run by Delhi Police are looking to gain from that support. “The purpose of involving celebrities is [to utilise] their influence. These people have such a huge fan following, and [therefore] a great social impact,” says Sanjay Beniwal, Special CP (Women and Modernisation). “Delhi is an important location for [film] shoots, and they keep coming here. [That’s when we request them for their support].”

In 2017, many celebrities supported various causes and campaigns organised by Delhi Police. From actors Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Sidharth Malhotra to wrestlers Sushil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and boxer Vijender Singh, several celebs were roped in to spread awareness about social causes. In 2018, Delhi Police plan to get on board actors Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, and Kareen Kapoor Khan.

Sidharth, who was shooting for a film at India Gate in June 2017, joined a road safety campaign by Delhi Traffic Police to raise awareness about the perils of drink driving and stunt driving. The actor had said then, “Delhi is my home town. This [campaign] is a great step. It’s going to be helpful for everyone. Anyone can be involved in road accidents. Drink driving and stunt driving must be avoided. It’s not just about us; it’s about our family and friends as well.”

Actor Akshay Kumar met women cops of Delhi Police during the screening of his movie, Naam Shabana. (Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/ HT  )

Delhi Police plan to approach Varun for a campaign named YUVA (for vocational training). The actor received flak from Mumbai Police on Twitter, just a few months ago, for craning his neck out of his car’s window at a traffic signal in Mumbai, in order to click a selfie with a fan who was riding in an auto-rickshaw. He later apologised for not following traffic rules.

The campaign that Salman was involved in was about women’s safety. Beniwal says, “Salman Khan, when he was recently in Delhi for a concert, came forward to support our mobile app Himmat, which has been introduced for women’s safety. Through a video, he urged people to download the app. Likewise, we want other actors to support our endeavours.”

Some actors have even lent their support to police personnel and their families. This includes actor Akshay Kumar. When in Delhi to promote his movie, Naam Shabana (2017), Akshay held a special screening for the women cops of Delhi Police. Sports stars Sushil Kumar, Sakshi Malik, and Vijender Singh extended their support to the Police Families Welfare Society (PFWS) by promoting Mission Olympics 2020. “The sports personalities didn’t just spread awareness about our campaigns and initiatives, but are themselves the role model for our children and give them a lot of motivation. Sushil Kumar has always been a great support,” says Suchna Patnaik, President, PFWS.

It’s not always that celebrities are available for social causes and campaigns. “We’ve been wanting to invite Sharmila Tagoreji, since she lives in Delhi, for one of our campaigns related to youth and women. Though it hasn’t worked out yet, we’re still trying. We want not only film stars... they could also be professional and non-professional people, with some influence,” says Beniwal.

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First Published: Jan 09, 2018 15:09 IST