Akshay Kumar: Overwhelmed that US is appreciating us

Updated: Dec 21, 2017, 13:04 IST | Mohar Basu

Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha director Shree Narayan Singh on Bill Gates listing their film as one of the most inspiring moments of 2017

Akshay Kumar proved once again, earlier this year, that cinema has the power to go beyond entertaining the audience when his social drama Toilet: Ek Prem Katha hit screens. Turns out, the movie has also struck a chord with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. On Tuesday, when the American business magnate tweeted the most inspiring moments of 2017, Kumar's film found a place in it. Gates applauded the film's efforts to "educate the audiences about India's sanitation challenge."

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

When mid-day reached out to Kumar, he said that he was overjoyed by the honour. "I was overwhelmed that people sitting in the US are appreciating our content. I feel that our country needs to improve a lot. A year-and-a-half ago, 54 per cent of the country's population was defecating openly. Now, it is down to 34 per cent. So, things are moving in the right direction."

Still from Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Still from Toilet: Ek Prem Katha

Bhumi Pednekar reasoned that an acknowledgement from a visionary like Gates is a victory for the film. "Open defecation is a threat to women's health and dignity. We hoped that the film would end this practice. When a humanitarian like Bill Gates acknowledges your work, the impact is stronger," she said.

Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar

While humbled by the honour, director Shree Narayan Singh said that the credit here belongs primarily to the film's writers, Siddharth and Garima. "They thought of the concept and developed it beautifully. The film connected on an emotional level with people and encouraged a social change."

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