Sonu Sood: A Bollywood villain appears as real-life hero
Published: 10:34 PM, 14 August 2020 Updated: 11:56 AM, 15 August 2020
To prevent the coronavirus outbreak, most of the countries have announced lockdown and suspended international flights. Migrants in different parts of the world got stranded due to the pandemic. Just then in India, a Bollywood villain appeared to them as a real-life hero.
Sonu Sood helped thousands of migrant workers in Mumbai to return home since the sudden lockdown on March 24.
“It gave me sleepless nights when I saw visuals of people walking hundreds of kilometers to reach their villages,” the actor told in an interview.
Millions found themselves without jobs or a source of income. And with state borders sealed and trains and buses suspended, thousands of men, women, and children were left with no other option but to walk, sometimes more than 1,000km to reach home. Even more than 100 died there in accidents on way.
As part of his ‘Ghar Bhejo’ campaign, he has helped approximately 12,000 migrants to reach home, and arrangements have been made for another 45,000.
The actor, along with his childhood friend Niti Goel, actively got involved in helping people impacted by the lockdown.
Sood began his mission in March by distributing 500 packets of cooked meals and groceries among the people. Two months later they served every day to 45,000 people in slums, those stranded on the roads and those walking on the highways. And since 11 May, he arranged hundreds of buses to take stranded migrants home.
When buses carrying the first batch of 200 people left on 11 May, Sood and Goel were there to flag them off. Before the buses began rolling, Sood broke a coconut on the road - a ritual to wish them a happy journey. When they left they had smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes, the actor said.
Sonu said that he thanks God for making him a catalyst in helping the migrants. “I may hail from Mumbai, but through my initiative, I have become a part of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttarakhand and other states where I have now found new friends.”
47-year-old Sood also appeared as a blessing to Tamil medical students studying in Russia. The students were stranded in Moscow owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant cancellation of flights. Sood organized a chartered flight from Moscow to fly the students back to Chennai and reunite them with their loved ones.
When asked about his new role as the villain turned real-life hero he said: “This is the best role I have ever played. The best script is done in my life. The ‘thank you’ notes from parents and the students are what motivates me.”
Sood didn’t limit him for pandemic sufferers. Two days earlier Sood extended helping hand to a 22-year old girl of Uttar Pradesh who had sought help on Twitter for a crucial knee replacement surgery.
In very recent on Thursday, Sood announced he would arrange travel of 39 children from the Philippines to New Delhi for their liver transplant surgery.
“Let’s save these precious lives. Will get them to India in the next two days. Lining up for these 39 angels. Pack their bags,” Sood, said in a tweet.
Sonu Sood made the debut in 1999 with Tollywood film Kallazhagar. Sood earned prestigious awards for his role as a wily villain in the 2010 super hit Dabangg, who worked with some of Bollywood’s biggest names such as Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and Aishwarya Rai.