Randeep, Rahul, Imtiaz join hands for anti-suicide initiative
Celebrities endorsing social causes is not unusual. But a group of high-profile Bollywood denizens getting together for an anti-suicide initiative in far-away Jamshedpur a, city which, believe it or not, is the country's suicide capital certainly qualifies as exceptional.
Last week Randeep Hooda, Imtiaz Ali, Mahesh Bhupati, Rahul Bose, filmmaker Nishikant Kamath (who last year acted in anti-suicide film 404 ) flew to Jamshedpur to talk to the local students and parents on why the suicide rate in the city is alarmingly high and to attempt to find solution to the baffling rampancy of suicide casualties in the city.
Many other Bollywood celebrities have taken an interest in the issue and have agreed to join hands with filmmaker Prawal Rawan who initiated the campaign.
Prawal says, "Last year I was intrigued when a group of school students in Jamshedpur got together to make a 45-minute film on suicide cases. Why would school kids be concerned with a grim subject like suicide? It was then that I discovered that Jamshedpur has the highest number of suicides in India. The suicide rate in this city is 21 percent as compared with the national suicide rate of 6 percent."
Prawal then initiated an anti-suicide campaign among the film fraternity. The response, he says, is tremendous. "I was simply bowled over by Imtiaz, Randeep, Tisca Arora and others who set aside their busy schedules to make time for an issue that ought to concern all of us."
Randeep Hooda re-adjusted his shooting dates for Rensil D'Silva's Ungli in Mumbai to be present in Jamshedpur. He spoke against suicide on December 10 and Rahul Bose on December 14. The response was overwhelming. Randeep told the kids he had flunked Class 12. He said he fought back the defeat. He told the kids to fight, not turn into cry-baby losers. Randeep said, "Don't accept defeat. Fight back adversities. Failure is a myth. Every experience is a just fodder for the future. Suicide doesn't end the problem, it ends you."
Says Prawaal, "Rahul spoke about the co-relation between success and happiness and how parents and teachers need to work together to make the young understand, that failure is not a reason to lose hope. The kids listened to Randeep, Rahul and Imtiaz. They have a face and voice. And they used it to convince children in Jamshedpur not to end their lives out of dejection."
Blessedly this was not a just a one-off visit for the lenses. Randeep, Imtiaz, Prawaal and the rest of the anti-suicide group from Bollywood are now initiating preventive measures to counter the steep suicide rate in Jamshedpur.
"Within the next few months all of us plan to take substantial steps to remedy the malaise," informs Prawaal who has directed the anti-suicide film 404.