Anupam Kher would like to give back to society

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Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Versatile actor Anupam Kher, who plans to start an orphanage, says it is time to look beyond personal gain and give something to society.

"I've reached a stage in my life and career where I need to look beyond my immediate gains and losses. I've always been a socially concerned individual. Now it's time to take those concerns to fruition and not sit around waiting for things to happen," Anupam told IANS.

He will start the orphanage under the flagship of the Anupam Kher Foundation.

After proving his mettle as an actor in films like "Saaransh", "Daddy" and the recent "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara", the actor recently started the acting school called Actor Prepares in India as well as abroad. And now with the Anupam Kher Foundation that has just been set up, he shifts his focus to a social cause.

"A long-cherished dream. I've already met the government for the land. I've appointed Ujjwal Bannerjee, a product of the Times' Lead India campaign, as CEO of my foundation."

Bannerjee says: "We're going to be allotted land in the Bandra-Kurla area. But before that we want to start a slum-children counselling facility. There're kids in the slums who give up studies at the age of seven-eight to earn a living. They need someone to show them the way, keep them from straying.

"Or we've children becoming victims of abuse. They don't know where to go and speak their minds. We plan to start our counselling service in the Andheri slums, then reach across to the other slums."

The orphanage, which Anupam hopes to start by the end of next year, will have 50-60 children to begin with.

"And this will be extended to 100 children," said Bannerjee. "We want to extend the counselling and the orphanage eventually to other areas of Mumbai and then the rest of the country."

Adds Anupam: "I don't even want to talk about this, but the orphanage is a very precious dream. And I must say the government has been very helpful. I want to open the doors of our orphanage to children from all over the country. They shouldn't only be given basic amenities, but a chance to grow into fine citizens."

Currently, Anupam is on the outskirts of Vadodara shooting for a film called "Saancha". He plays a bricklayer in the film, which is being directed by Alokenath Dixit.

"For the first time I've brought my parents along on an outdoor shoot. They play cards and watch old romantic films like 'Amar Prem' the whole day. Just watching them together, I feel so good. I hope we can give to society the chance to build relationships like my parents."

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