The star cast of Azhar turned up at the Mumbai vs Pune IPL match in Pune yesterday as part of their film's publicity campaign, but Prachi Desai was nowhere to be seen.
It was not a health issue or a conflict with her co-stars or makers that kept her away; it was a conscientious decision for the actress, who plays the first wife of ex cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin in the biopic.
Says a source, "Citing the drought situation in Maharashtra, Prachi told the makers that she won't promote the film at a venue where a lot of water is used for entertainment."
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld a Bombay High Court order for shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra today onwards to other states in view of the drought.
The film's marketing team tried to convince her to join the promotions but in vain. "Prachi put her foot down, saying that she would gladly join other promotional activities but not this one," adds the source.
When contacted, Prachi says, "The drought is not the IPL's fault and solving it is certainly not in the hands of the IPL management. This is mainly due to years of horrible mismanagement of infrastructure by elected representatives; we need a long term sustainable solution. For people in Marathwada, every drop counts. At such a time, watering lawns with hundreds of thousands of litres of water for entertainment is something I just can't get myself to accept, and hence, did not participate in the promotion during the IPL match."
While agreeing that the IPL is a huge platform to promote a cricketer's biopic, the actress says, "In this case, I had reservations. Even though the film's team initially pursued me to join the promotions, they were gracious enough to understand my point of view eventually."