Of course I believe you should talk about the charity you do, the causes that matter, the need for proactive participation of each one of us.
The power of celebrity in India is tremendous. We are paid obscene sums to endorse products because people believe us when we say something is worthy and desirable. I believe we can use that very power, privilege, voice and platform to do greater good.
If I speak about what I do, I hopefully will lead by example....by saying... I do, and so should you!!
We all know what the issues are… let’s find solutions. Let’s stop complaining… let’s start doing!!!
Through my talk show. Just Pooja I addressed issues ranging from women empowerment, AIDS awareness, female foeticide, Homosexuality and a variety of other issues that are of social and national concern. I actively voice my opinion across news channels on issues that affect both the privileged and the under privileged.
I donate lots of my hard earned to charity.
In addition I support the following causes:
Habitat for humanity:On grass root level nothing has been closer to my heart than my project with Habitat for Humanity Maharashtra flood response, where I built 87 beautiful homes with teams of volunteers and my children for over 500 villagers who lost homes, family members, cattle and crops in the terrible landslides caused by the floods in 2006.
In Addition to this I’ve also participated in the Ex U.S. president, Jimmy Carter led project in Lonavala for Habitat for Humanity and built alongside ex US president Jimmy Carter and His wife Rosalynn Carter
And in The Habitat for Humanity build in Thailand alongside Ex U.S president Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, Jet Li and other international movie and sports stars.
Versova Resident Volunteers
There are a band of us merry self-appointed volunteers that decided it was time to be proactive and clean up our beach. Together with hundreds of volunteers, media and BMC support we cleaned over 6 lakh tonnes of solid waste in under 4 weeks of effort. This is an on-going initiative and we are working with the BMC on options for permanent cleaning solutions, treatment of sewage, recycling of waste, as well as remedies to stop open defecation by slum dwellers by providing free toilets.
I've been steadfastly doing my bit to create AIDS awareness since 1991 when I modelled for the Kamasutra Condom campaign. At the time I was rubbished and told it was a ‘gay disease’ and that I was advocating promiscuity. To my utter horror, even the government of India’s health minister at the time, Sushma Swaraj, was opposed to mention of Condoms in anti AIDS campaigns. I carried on undeterred and have given countless interviews advocating safe sex, featured in two AIDS awareness videos, participated in the Richard Gere Art of Giving charity for AIDS fundraiser (1998), visited sex workers, and performed at AIDS awareness events.
World Vision of India
I supported 6 children every month with this wonderful organisation for over a decade.
I have also lent my support to causes like Breast Cancer Awareness, Beti and Khushi (for the girl child), been on the committee and hosted Plan India’s fundraiser for Street Children Welfare, donated to CRY and also jumped into the sea and saved a whale in distress with the help of PETA, participated in Clean Mumbai campaigns, anti-corruption rallies, Environment awareness campaigns and much more…
Hope this inspires each one of you. Each of us has the power to change so much. Reach out. Help someone…. Even just one….!!!