Bollywood actor Sonu Sood won many hearts by helping thousands of stranded migrant workers in Mumbai due to Covid-19's closure upon returning home. He is the first celebrity to arrange hundreds of buses and food for wage-earners.
He has been overwhelmed by Twitter requests from immigrants and students trapped in various cities, and has already called many people and guaranteed their help, a gesture that has earned him a lot of goodwill. Sood says he will "not rest until all migrant workers arrive safely in their homes" in an interview with Lachimi Deep Roy from Outlook.
Where did the idea of helping immigrants come from?
Sonu replied “Initially, I had no idea how to arrange sending migrant workers home. I just saw pictures of hundreds of migrants walking on the roads with their families ... the elderly who can barely walk, some of them carried on their shoulders. These photos are chasing me. Their faces appeared in front of me every time I close my eyes.
I thought about how we could be very thankful to the people who built our homes, our roads. In fact, they are the ones who run the whole country. They are the true heartbeat of the nation. How can we allow them to walk on the roads and ignore them, believing that if it does not affect me, then why does it bother me? So I spoke with some migrant workers and asked them to give me a day or two so that I could get all the permits to send them to my country. I assured you that I will make your trip back home as safe as possible.”
Sonu Sood praised his contribution to the Coronavirus relief efforts. For health workers, he also opened his hotel in Juhu for health workers, as well as organizing buses and food for stranded immigrants. "It is an honor for me to be able to do my part for the doctors, nurses and paramedics working in our country who worked day and night to save the lives of millions of people in the country. I am really happy to open my hotel doors to these heroes in real time," PTI said.
Other members of the Bollywood industry also came to help the disadvantaged at a time when a lot of money and jobs are running out and they have to travel hundreds of kilometers to return home. While superstar Shah Rukh Khan donated and announced various initiatives to support the country in fighting the epidemic, Akshay Kumar pledged to donate Rs 25 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aid fund for COVID-19.