Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has been conferred with the TIME100 Impact Award for her contribution to mental health awareness, which will be handed to her at the invite-only gala on Monday, March 28, at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.
Other honorees include David Adjaye, architect and founder, Adjaye Associates; Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology; Tony Elumelu, philanthropist and founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation; Ellie Goulding, singer-songwriter and activist; Huda Kattan, entrepreneur and founder, Huda Beauty; and will.i.am, musician and entrepreneur.
In a statement, Padukone spoke about the honour of being conferred with the award. “I had such a deep experience with mental illness. Not talking about it felt dishonest,” she said.
Mental health has become somewhat of a calling for Padukone, who first spoke openly in 2015 about wrestling with depression. That year, she also launched the LiveLoveLaugh Foundation, which works to destigmatisze mental health struggles and raise awareness.
Today, LiveLoveLaugh runs a free counseling service, a training programme for primary care physicians to better identify and treat mental health conditions; it also offers free psychiatric support, access to government-aided schemes and livelihood training to more than 1,800 individuals in four rural districts in the states of Karnataka, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu.
Padukone says her advocacy work has helped her to find balance in her life - and a new definition of success. Where at first she strived to be queen of Bollywood, now she prioritises her own mental peace - working at her own pace, and on her own terms. When Padukone now thinks of success, she thinks of one thing – “to live a life as honest and authentically as possible.”
The actress was last seen in the Amazon Prime Video film ‘Gehraiyan’, where she was lauded for her perfprmance.