'Slumdog Millionaire' actors raise money for Plan's work
Anil Kapoor along with other cast and crew from the critically-acclaimed film "Slumdog Millionaire" joined Plan India for a fundraising charity dinner and art auction in New Delhi on January 21.
The star-studded event, attended by politicians, fashion designers and business leaders, was held to raise money to support Plan India's work in preventing exploitation and abuse of vulnerable children.
Kapoor, one of the best-known actors in the Indian film world, has been involved in promoting the campaign since its launch two years ago and has donated his entire fee for the movie to Plan’s Universal Birth Registration campaign in India.
In an interview with the Times of India about his latest role, Kapoor told the reporter:
“I’m an ambassador for the cause of registering each and every child’s birth in India. It’s not just lip service. In fact, the entire remuneration that I got for the film is going to this cause. Before we started shooting, I had made an arrangement with the filmmakers that all of the money I earned from the film would be donated to this organization and this cause . . . Koi soch nahi thi [I didn’t even have to think about it]. It was just an instinctive decision, and I took it.”
At the fundraising event in New Delhi, noted film director and chairman of Plan India's governing board, Mr Govind Nihlani, said: "The worldwide success of Slumdog Millionaire has only reiterated the need to address the issues affecting children.
"Anil's constant commitment to Plan India over the past four years on various children's issues ranging from universal birth registration, to preventing violence in schools, has certainly made a change in the lives of children across the country."
It is estimated that 36 percent of births in India go unregistered. Without a birth certificate, access to health care, education and other services is limited. Unregistered children are also more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
In the last year, Plan’s projects in India have resulted in the registration of 111,279 children and the issue of 57,402 birth certificates.
As well as raising awareness of the importance of registration in the national media, the campaign has worked with governmental bodies to improve the provision of guidance to parents through medical centers.
At the launch of the Plan campaign in 2006, Anil Kapoor said: "I have received a lot of love and affection from people and helping this cause is one of the most meaningful ways in which I can repay and make a contribution to society."
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