Sonu Sood: A ray of light in the darkness of the pandemic
21st September 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has left behind a wave of death, disease, and a huge wave of unemployment all over the country. Families all over the country have been faced with unexpected problems and situations and have been forced to adapt to modern ways to get through the pandemic. A lot of migrants who travelled the length of the country to make a livelihood were suspended in uncertainty over the future of their jobs, and their life. During this dark hour, one man has helped over twenty-thousand migrants go back home while also providing help to many others.
Sonu Sood, born in Moga, Punjab, travelled to Mumbai to pursue his dream of entering the silver screen. Sonu is now an Indian film actor, producer, and humanitarian who acts predominantly in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and
Punjabi films. Sonu Sood, having been a migrant himself could associate with the hardships of the workers and throughout the pandemic, and the consequent lockdown has spent his money to develop campaigns to help migrant workers and poor families across the country.
As part of his Ghar Bhejo campaign, Sood has helped over 20,000 migrant workers get back to their homes through buses, trains and in some cases, also air travel. According to The Mumbai Mirror, he coordinated with the Maharashtra and Karnataka state governments, to enable the travel of a group of migrants who were going to make the journey on foot and has since then continued to help migrants get back home.
For the migrants who did choose to stay back, food was a major cause of concern as they had no means of employment. According to Ampinity News, through his food drive, Shakti Anandam, named after his father Shakti Sagar Sood, Sonu has provided 45,000 under-privileged people with daily meals in Mumbai. In addition to this, Sood provided food to an additional 25,000 people throughout the month of Ramadan.
The actor has also launched a free app called Pravasi Rojgar in an initiative to find employment for migrant workers by enabling a platform for them to meet prospective employers. The initiative also aims to train workers with certain basic skills which can help them increase their chances of employment. A few of the prominent companies that are supporting him include Amazon, AEPC, CITI, Trident, Quess Corp, and Sodexo.
Apart from the migrant workers, Sonu has attempted to help health workers who have been working long hours with the risk of contracting COVID-19. Sood opened his six-story Juhu Hotel in Mumbai to provide for their accommodation when many house owners were sceptical and fearful of providing houses to the workers.
Sonu, has also launched a scholarship campaign on Twitter where people can apply to get a full scholarship for their higher education. “I believe, financial challenges should not stop any one from reaching their goals.” he said in his post. His campaign helps people can sign up for scholarships for courses including Law, MBBS, Hotel management, and Agriculture. The campaign will be a ray of hope for the financially struggling students who will now be able to follow their dreams.
In Andhra Pradesh, when a video of two daughters of a poor farmer ploughing their field went viral, Sonu, arranged a tractor for this family, who could not afford to buy even oxen. Sonu has also become a hero for Indian students who were stranded in Kyrgyzstan when he helped them travel back home by providing tickets for air travel. Sonu has been very active on the social media platform Twitter, where he has been offering help to hundreds of people.
With Sonu set to launch a brand-new medical scheme Ilaj where 50,000 doctors will do one free surgery per month, he is undoubtedly going to set even higher standards for humanitarian service and will continue to be the backbone for the poor across the country.
Sources: The Hindu, Your Story, Mumbai Mirror, Ampinity News
Edited by Varun Paleli Vasudevan