If there's one Bollywood actor who doesn't shy away from doing whatever he can to uplift the society, it's Akshay Kumar. Right from supporting Bharat Ke Veer, to even taking care of his Mission Mangal director Jagan Shakti's medical bills during an emergency, he's always there. And yet again, he's come out to support another good initiative.
Filmmaker Raghava Lawrence took to Facebook on Sunday to announce that he is building a transgender home in Chennai, claiming it to be the "first time in India", for which Akshay has donated Rs 1.5 crores. Raghava wrote in the post that it was during their film Laxmmi Bomb's shoot that Akshay got to know about his initiative to help the community.
Raghava told HT, "During the making of my film Kanchana, I had met transgenders, and listened to their painful stories, how they were suddenly orphaned, even when it's how God made them. They would have to sleep at railway stations, (and other such random places). That's when I thought about this shelter, for which I bought a land in my native place in Chennai, I was explaining it to Akshay sir one day, and he asked suddenly 'can I build this building?' I was shocked, because we were planning to go to big people and ask them (for help), even doing a show through which we could collect funds, but here was Akshay sir. These kind of people are God. The place is yet to be ready."
This announcement and initiative have been welcomed by LGBTQI+ activists. Gauri Sawant tells us that Bollywood actors speaking up lends more awareness to things, "It's a good initiative, if someone is donating money for the community. (Bollywood stars like Akshay) supporting this is the need of the society. We work for animal (welfare), why not transgenders? They are humans, only their sexual identity is different. Even I am building a house for kids of sex workers."
Equal rights activist Harish Iyer says, "It's a welcome move and people should stand up for other people. At the same time, any kind of philanthropy has to be heartfelt and continuous." Indian filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan, who has made films with special focus on queer subjects further adds, "It's a great initiative, what they should do is consult the transgender community, what are their needs. They should not be left out. Transgender people have a lot of problems in finding a home, for them, a commune like this is very welcome. There are communes abroad in United States and Europe. If something like this comes up, they can atleast live their lives peacefully without any obstruction and trying to run around to find homes."