Actor Akshay Kumar, who raised the problem of poor sanitation in India through the film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, has urged people to participate in Swachhata Hi Seva Andolan movement.
On Wednesday, the 51-year-old tweeted: “Thanks to ‘Toilet-Ek Prem Katha’, I got to know about the lack of basic sanitation facilities suffered by millions. Swachhata (cleanliness) should be prioritised for our nation’s healthy future. Join the Swachhata Hi Seva Andolan.”
Along with the post, Akshay Kumar posted a poster of the movement. It reads: “Become a part of the Swachhata Hi Seva Andolan and undertake shramdaan (voluntary contribution) starting 9.30 a.m. on September 15 in your area. Share your Swachhata moments using #SHS208.”
Having dealt with taboo topics such as menstrual health and women’s sanitation though his films, Akshay Kumar is now attempting to break gender stereotypes. And he offers us some real life examples to emphasise the need for gender-based equality.
“There is a lady who manages the finances of her house, corporate finance and the finance of our country. She was in the Defence Ministry earlier. The change is happening,” said the actor at a promotional event of his upcoming film “Mission Mangal” here on Friday. He was referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who has come to lead positions in the government, so far seen as strictly “male domains”.
Likewise, “Mission Mangal” chronicles the struggles of five women scientists as they embark on a mission to send a satellite to Mars. The characters have been essayed by Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menon.
However, Akshay is unwilling ready to call “Mission Mangal” a ‘women-oriented’ film. “I feel irritated when someone says it (a film) is a women-oriented subject. What do you mean by women-oriented? If we are equal, then there should not be anything as male-oriented or female-oriented, it should just be a film. That’s what I feel,” he said.
Akshay also revealed his intention behind choosing the subject. “I’ve made this film mainly for children so that they feel encouraged to become scientists. Scientist as a profession is not very likeable, but after ISRO’s launch of the Chandrayaan, people are becoming more aware of the need and importance of scientists. I hope this film conveys what a great profession it is,” said the actor who plays a scientist in the film.
The “Khiladi” star also spoke on the need to provide equal opportunities to children. “Right from my childhood, I’ve seen parents who discourage a girl if she aspires to be a scientist or an engineer on the excuse that these are male-dominated professions. Instead, they encourage the child to become a doctor or a nurse or choose any other woman-dominated profession. Even our history books do not tell us stories of women, rather they emphasise mostly on men. I think the time has come to change this and the process has already started,” he added. “Mission Mangal”, directed by Jagan Shakti, hits theatres on August 15. (IANS)