Alia Bhatt: It’s about aligning my passion with purpose

31 March,2024 05:46 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Mohar Basu

Alia, who hosted her first fundraiser in London for Mumbai’s underprivileged kids, on using her voice as an artiste to drive change

Alia Bhatt

A symbol of unity" - that's how Alia Bhatt views the Hope Gala. On March 28, the actor-producer hosted her maiden charity gala in a heritage hotel in London to lend her support to the Salaam Bombay Foundation. Since 2019, she has been associated with the not-for-profit organisation that works with underprivileged adolescents, who are at risk of dropping out of secondary schools, encouraging them to continue their education. When it came to hosting her maiden fundraiser, Bhatt knew she wanted to do her bit for the country's youth. They are, after all, the face of tomorrow.

Talking to mid-day hours after the event, she said, "Over the past few years, I've been moved by the Salaam Bombay Foundation's transformative work. Their commitment towards ensuring that the children from Mumbai's slums not only complete their education, but also acquire valuable skills for future employment is commendable. So when the opportunity arose to host my inaugural gala, I knew I wanted to contribute to their impactful mission."

Bhatt with Salaam Bombay's founder Padmini Sekhsaria and guests

As someone who calls Mumbai her home, uplifting the city's children is important to Bhatt. Five years ago, the actor had shot Gully Boy (2019) in Dharavi, playing an aggressive character who comes from the slums. Now, she is glad to play a more direct role in the children's empowerment. "It went beyond being just an event; it became a symbol of unity and shared purpose. We were all united by a cause close to our hearts - the education and empowerment of at-risk youth from Mumbai's slums. Throughout the evening, our collective aim was clear: to ensure a more promising future for these children." The event was also attended by filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, singer Harshdeep Kaur, and stand-up comic Rohan Joshi.

One look at her filmography, and it's easy to see that Bhatt uses her work to highlight social ills. If she questioned domestic abuse through Darlings (2022), she shed light on animal poaching by backing Poacher. She says as an artiste, she is cognisant of her social responsibility. "My motivation has always been clear - to make a difference. It's about aligning my passion with purpose and taking action towards positive change."

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