By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The time to mouth concern and pledge verbal support for celebrities from Bollywood for the flood-ravaged casualties of Uttarakhand is over.
Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia has flown down to Uttrakhand and launched an all-out fund-raising campaign, Bollywood being his first stopover for monetary assistance.
Speaking from Uttarakhand, Tigmanshu says, “It’s time to act now. People here in Uttarakhand don’t need sympathetic tweets. They need to rebuild their towns and villages. They need funds. I believe people like Farhan Akhtar have expressed a desire to be of help.Very often our film folks don’t know how to go about providing help in such situations. Then there is the other kind of celebrities who do it for publicity. I want genuinely-concerned people from the entertainment industry to join me in helping Uttarakhand.”
While other socially-conscious filmmakers and actors are still talking about how they’d like help the rain-ravaged victims of Uttarkhand, filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia has decided to bell the cat.
He will now collect funds from Bollywood and outside, to rebuild the region.
Leaving behind the crucial post-production work on his almost-complete project Bullett Raja Tigmanshu headed to Uttarakhand this week for relief work.
Tigmanshu said, “The situation here is worse than anything I imagined. I am from Uttarakhand. When I came to know about the devastation and destruction I immediately headed home.I had no plan in my head. I just needed to be here with my people. Now that I am here I can see how vast the destruction is and how much relief work is actually required.”
Tigmanshu says the actual process of healing would begin after all the pilgrims and tourists are evacuated. “That’s when the actual magnitude of the damages and loss would stare the locals in the face. Right now, with all the evacuation work going on the electronic media is covering the ravaged region like an adventure saga. Once the evacuation is over the media attention would shift to something more topical. That’s when Uttrakhand would be left to look at its own bleak future.”
The filmmaker disapproves of high-profile politicians dropping in to do their own thing in Uttarakhand. “When Rahul Gandhi visited everyone forgot the crisis and got busy sucking up to him. I feel all celebrities should stay away right now. Their presence only hampers relief work.”
Tigmanshu says he reached the region with no plan of action. “I just needed to be here. Now that I’ve reached I am trying to rally support both from within and outside the film industry. What we need , and need urgently, is money. We need serious amounts of money to rebuild Uttarakhand.”
The Hindi film industry seems to Tigmanshu like a good place to get monetary assistance for Uttarakhand. “A lot of people in our film industry want to help at the time of a crisis such as this. But they don’t know how to go about it.”
Later this week at the IIFA in Macau Tigmanshu will personally speak to some of his colleagues to raise funds for Uttarakand.
Tigmanshu’s plans to promote his new film Bullett Raja at IIFA have no been canned. “I would rather talk about raising finances for Uttarakhand at IIFA. Bringing up my film would trivialize the issue,” says Tigmanshu .