Social causes must reach for the stars

Amitabh Bachchan has become a brand ambassador for tiger conservation. One can only hope that the big cats may now go forth and multiply with never a poacher’s gun throwing a shadow on them.

In national parks, we see politicians are wildlife’s worst enemies. There are plenty of stories about how animals are lured to a certain spot with chunks of meat, so that a visiting politician can get pictures or boast about having spotted the big cats. Of course, tourists also need to be educated about safari etiquette on the whole, but one is happy to hear that tiger conservation and tourism will get a boost with AB’s appointment.

It would be good to see more social organisations — particularly those that work in the fields of environment, health, women and children’s health, and all services like traffic, roads, water and transport — actually use the power and allure of superstars to up awareness and improve service.

People can make an immediate connect with the celebrity, even if the cause itself seems too obtuse and remote to resonate with them. With the help of the celebrity, they become sensitised and aware of the cause.

It is now upto the stars to offer their name and fame for the good of society. Celebrities are routinely roped in by corporates to endorse products in extremely lucrative deals. A single campaign can net a celebrity what a common man may not be able to make in a lifetime. But if the star were to endorse less lucrative social causes, it could be a way of giving back to society.

This is not just for Bollywood but cricketers too, who enjoy tremendous popularity amongst people and are the most visible sports stars in the country. To give them their due, the film industry has pitched in with certain drives and actions when there are disasters like floods, etc. This can be followed up by making them brand ambassadors in different fields so that the ‘not so glamourous’ initiatives, like public health, safety, civic issues and even transport, get a major fillip.

A famous name, a well-known face has immediate recall. It can save the tiger and so many other things too.

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