Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has responded to haters who have called him out on social media in the past for not doing enough to help individuals during the COVID-19 crisis and the farmer’s protests that saw thousands take to the streets.
In his blog, Bachchan spoke about doing charity in private and why he chose to remain silent all this while, even as people called him out repeatedly for not doing enough.
“Yes I do charity, but have ever believed it to be done, than spoken of .. it is embarrassing , in too great a self consciousness .. of one that has ever felt shy of public presence despite the profession - one that has to find its usp in public domains is relevant today for me .. [sic],” Bachchan wrote in his blog.
“The pressure though .. the every day abuse and the filth of distasteful comment has never been of attention to me or to the family .. we have seen it from time immemorial .. happens .. some are ridden with the wisdom that it shall happen .. so all the efforts continued in the quiet .. no divulge to the information agencies .. no talk of it either .. only the receiver knew and that was the end,” he added.
The ever-private Bachchan then went on to reveal how he quietly paid off bank loads of farmers from his personal fund.
“Over a 1500 farmers bank loans paid off by my personal fund and prevented them from suicide , as the suicided grew .. from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP et al .. calling them over after identifying with respective banks and getting them all to Janak and in the presence of the bank representatives, paying them in person and getting them to strike off the loan, giving each farmer the document that they did not owe any more, that their loan was over and completed and paid back to the bank,” revealed Bachchan.
The veteran star also revealed that booked a train for those who could not be present and brought some of them to Mumbai for a tour of the city, where he fed them and handed each a loan cancellation certificate before sending them home.
And Bachchan wasn’t done. “The brave soldiers at the border of the Country who had been martyred, their lists sought and their families, young wives and their children, some wives pregnant and expectant, given succour,” he added. “The marty s at Pulwama after the terrible terrorist attack, their families spread all over the land contacted and brought to Janak and given succour .. at the hands of Abhishek [Bachchan, son and actor] and Shweta [Bachchan Nanda, daughter].”
Bachchan, who was hospitalised last year after he tested for COVID-19, along with his son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, revealed that he also attempted to help those fighting the virus.
“Those that suffered during the CoViD last year .. providing food for over 400,000 daily wage earners in the country for a month .. feeding almost 5000 in the city each day lunch and dinner,” he stated on his blog, aside from revealing that he also stepped up to help frontline workers with masks, PPE kits, while providing funds to help migrants return home after last year’s Indian lockdown left many without wages and with no way to return home.
“When the migrants were walking back home, some without the benefit or affordability of shoes .. provided hundreds of chappals and shoes to them .. due to lack of travel facility, booked 30 buses to locations in UP and Bihar and supplied them food and water for the overnight travel,” Bachchan added, while stating that he also had booked a train carrying 2,800 migrants from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh at his expense.
“…and when the destination State blocked the tarin from coming into their State and cancelled the train .. immediately chartered 3 Indigo Airline planes and flew almost 180 migrants in each flight to UP and Bihar and some to Rajasthan and J&K,” Bachchan wrote.
Bachchan wasn’t quite done. As the second wave of COVID-19 grips India, the 78-year-old star has set up a centre to help those fighting the virus.
“A 250 to 450 bed care center set up with further donation at the Rakabganj Sahib Gurudwara today in Delhi and soon to procure for them O2 ( Oxygen ) concentrators, not in stock or easily available , from overseas limited stock to be donated to Delhi where the need is immense and some to Mumbai .. coming in within the week .. 50 of them coming in from Poland by 15th and the rest around 150 from perhaps the US .. orders placed , some have arrived and given to the Hospital in need.”
Aside from providing ventilators to the BMC and Municipal hospitals in Mumbai, Bachchan has also facilitated in setting up a 25-50 bed hospital in Juhu, aside from feeding 1,000 people in the slums of Mumbai.
“Young children .. orphaned by the sudden death of the parents, left in oblivion .. have adopted 2 and shall be put in an orphanage in Hyderabad .. their study board and lodging free till they finish School .. from the 1st to the 10th .. and if they turn out bright to provide them with free upper education,” Bachchan added, before signing off to say: “and more, as and when the means are affordable.”
It has also come to light that Bachchan donated Rs20 million to a charity in Delhi. Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, revealed this in a post on social media writing: “Sikhs are Legendary. These were the words of @SrBachchan Ji when he contributed ₹2 Cr to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Covid Care Facility.
“While Delhi was grappling for Oxygen, Amitabh Ji called me almost daily to enquire about the progress of this Facility.
“@SrBachchan Ji contributed a huge Amt & also took the pain to ensure oxygen concentrators get shipped frm abroad & reach on time. He is not just a REEL Hero but a Real life Hero.”
The actor also spoke out at last week’s Vax Live, the Global Citizen fundraising concert advocating the importance of vaccine equity, which was hosted by Selena Gomez, was attended by several thousand fully-vaccinated concertgoers who cheered on performances by Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, H.E.R., Jennifer Lopez and more.