Here are the top 10 initiatives by humanitarian, actor, and hero Sonu Sood in 2020
Actor, humanitarian, hero – these three words perfectly describe the reel-life villain, Sonu Sood. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus, the Bollywood actor turned a real-life hero and was on his toes to help those most affected by the pandemic.
When migrant workers started returning to their hometowns – many of them covering thousands of kilometres on foot, the actor came forward to make things easier for them. From providing meals to providing jobs via Pravaasi Rojgar, the actor has become the messiah for migrants.
On the other hand, while health workers were facing the brunt of social issues of being in the high-risk category and refused to enter their accommodations, the actor opened the gates of his Juhu hotel to ensure they had a place to stay.
Actor Sonu Sood
Children’s education came to standstill and many of the underprivileged children found it hard to keep up with technology. Sonu Sood tried to help them continue their education, by providing phones, tablets, and other things for the same. Moreover, during the protests that erupted on whether the NEET exam should be held, the actor stood by their side and offered to help them travel in case the exams were not postponed. He also helped Indian students stuck abroad to return home.
Once people heard about his efforts, many started sending him requests to help their families, friends or a person in need, and Twitter was the platform of choice. And the actor did the best to reach out to them in their time of distress.
At SocialStory, we bring out some of the top initiatives led by Sonu Sood in 2020, in the hope that his acts will inspire others to show kindness and empathy towards others.
In May, the actor announced the launch of a toll-free number to facilitate the return of migrants to their homes. Because he was getting too many calls, he was unable to keep a track of those who may not be able to approach him.
So, he opened the call centre with a dedicated team to keep a track of the calls made and help as many people as possible.
Earlier this year, SocialStory curated a list of the humanitarian’s kind deeds. We discussed the stories of how Sonu Sood opened up the gates of his Juhu hotel to the health workers.
We also mentioned his Shakti Annadanam initiative which had a goal to feed at least 45,000 people every day in Mumbai. The listicle also touched upon his PravaasiRojgar initiative, in association with Schoolnet India and National Skill Development Corporation, that connects job seekers to job providers.
We also spoke about his generous gesture to buy a tractor for a poor farmer, along with his efforts to distribute 1,500 PPE kits to paramedics in Punjab and 25,000 face shields police officers Maharashtra.
Sonu Sood waving goodbye to the migrant workers (Image: Indian Express)
Heartbroken by their plight while on his way to distribute food, Sonu facilitated the availability of 10 buses to help migrant workers return to their hometowns in May. Around 350 workers were transported by these buses to Karnataka.
Lunch, dinner, and snacks were also arranged by the actor. He coordinated with the local police, the Maharashtra government, and other state governments after transportation regulations were eased. He had to obtain permissions to send them home, to conduct health checkups, and to ensure that these workers didn’t arrive from red zones.
Image: YS Tamil
He donned his cape yet again, when he brought stranded students back home from Kyrgystan and Russia. He helped arrange a flight for 1,500 students from Bihar and Jharkhand who were stranded in Kyrgystan, and about 101 students from Russia to Delhi and Chennai.
While the flight was supposed to reach Chennai directly, there was a stopover due to multiple requests. And even though the flight wasn’t full enough to take off, Sonu paid the additional amount for the other seats to be occupied.
In association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) Chairman Karan Gilhotra, Sonu Sood distributed smartphones to students of Government Senior Secondary School at Morni’s Koti village in Haryana.
Both of them spoke to the students virtually after the phones were delivered and have initiated a drive to help these students in their education with online classes.
The actor had tweeted about the same and said, “A wonderful beginning to my day watching all the students get their smartphones to attend their online classes. And thanks to @HinaRohtaki for bringing this need for the students to our notice.”
According to the 2011 Census, around 1.77 million people in India were estimated to be homeless. Since the coronavirus outbreak in March, a majority of this population has been struggling to earn a living.
West Bengal resident Kirshti Chhetri, aged 12, is one among them. After noticing a photograph of Kirshti’s dilapidated house on her neighbour’s Twitter handle, actor Sonu Sood took the initiative to help her.
The girl, who is the daughter of a jobless migrant worker, was living under a mangled plastic sheet, stitched together with a few gunny bags in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. A few days ago, Sonu Sood’s welfare arm travelled a distance of 2,500 km to offer the required financial assistance to build a concrete house
Despite the controversy surrounding conducting the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Supreme Court rejected the plea to postpone the entrance exams. Following this, the National Testing Agency (NTA) was gearing up to hold the examinations in September with all safety precautions in place.
To help students intending to write the exams, Sonu had tweeted, “Students appearing for #NEET #JEE 2020 I am standing by you. If you are stuck anywhere, let me know your areas of travel. I will help you reach your examination centres. No one should miss their exam because of resources.”
Amidst the lockdown, about a month ago, a video of an 85-year-old woman doing ‘Lathi-Kathi,’ ancient Indian armed martial arts, went viral on social media. Seeing Pune resident Shanta Balu Pawar’s unrivalled skill, many prominent people of Mumbai came forward to help her, including Sonu Sood.
Thanks to Sonu, Shanta or ‘Warrior Aaji’ is now a martial arts and self-defence trainer for children. Meanwhile, with the help of the NGO Nirmitree and local corporator Yogesh Dattatray Sasane, Sonu found a suitable space for her to take classes at the premises of the Savali Foundation.
After helping many migrants and the poor find happiness, the actor has now come to the rescue of a six-year-old boy, Harshvardhan, who had to undergo a liver transplant at the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad.
The boy had been ill since he was six months old. The family sought help from the Chief Minister’s Fund and the Arogyasri scheme, but to no avail, according to the child’s mother.
Sonu Sood bore the cost of treating the child, which amounted to about Rs 20 lakh.
In August, the actor announced that he was offering accommodation to 20,000 migrant workers in Noida and shared the news on Instagram.
He also said these workers have also been provided jobs in garment factories of the region through their initiative Pravasi Rojgar.