Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Amitabh Bachchan's advice to young Indians

Amitabh Bachchan's advice to young Indians

Amitabh Bachchan speaks at the Parikrama 'Jeanaration' charity event in Mumbai on September 1

Divya Nair 

At a recent charity event in Mumbai, the Bollywood legend addressed the issues of gender discrimination and the denial of a basic right to education. He also emphasised the importance of knowledge and its power to liberate one's future.

This was definitely not the first time that Amitabh Bachchan volunteered for a worthy cause.

Be it his action-intensive polio eradication drive or the Save the Girl Child campaign, Bachchan Senior has always made time for philanthropy and used his celebrity to spread the word.

At a Parikrama foundation charity event held on September 1, Saturday, in Mumbai, he kickstarted 'Jeanaration', a unique campaign which will feature 24 other Indian celebrities (actors Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Mammootty and Surya, to name a few) who will auction their denims online on eBay and raise funds to power the higher education needs of underpriveleged children (Parikrama is a not-for-profit school in Bangalore).

And of course, he was the first to sign a pair of his jeans and donate them.

The actor, who is known to be ever so punctual, turned up half an hour late and not only made a public apology, but remarked that if there was one attribute that anyone should borrow from him, it should be his punctuality and value for another's time.

Mr Bachchan then went on to address the students and media present, making a special appeal to young Indians and women in particular to raise funds so as to empower and educate youngsters.

He revisited memories from his popular show Kaun Banega Crorepati, elaborating on how ordinary people like Sushil Kumar (winner of the five crore jackpot in Season 5) had inspired many others and turned celebrities overnight due to sheer courage and belief in their dreams.

He reiterated 'Koi bhi insaan chhota nahi hota' ('no man is small/insignificant'), the show's catchphrase from last season. Mr Bachchan also emphasised that 'Keval gyaan hi aapko haq dilata hai' ('knowledge alone can give you your rights') -- the theme for the latest season of KBC -- citing the struggles of several female participants on the show, who were denied the right to education by their parents.

In the following pages, we bring you excerpts from the short but inspiring speech the icon gave to those assembled at the event.

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