By Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 8 -- Woman's Day events are usually morose and intense. We wanted something young and peppy, anted to give people an enjoyable night out and at the end of it, urge them to contribute to help someone less privileged," says Genelia D'Souza who will be hosting a rock show for women's empowerment today at the Hard Rock Cafe.
An initiative of The Guess and KWAN, this 'bar night with a twist' will have an opening act by Soul Mate, followed by Shaa'ir + Func. It hopes to raise funds and awareness for the NGO that KWAN has partnered with, Akshara Centre, that for the last 16 years has helped get financial support for underprivileged girls to help them finish their higher education.
D'Souza who is a graduate herself, believes that education can help boost a woman's confidence as it eventually leads to employment opportunities that make her financially independent.She herself didn't quit studies after coming into the movies and today is happier for having a university degree.
The actor whose own role model has been her mother, admits that growing up, she never faced any gender discrimination. "It wasn't as if my call time was ridiculously early and that of my brother was longer because he was a boy," she reminisces. "Even when I decided to take up acting, there was no frowning opposition. I always had a voice as a girl but not everyone is as fortunate. That's why it is nice to align myself with a cause like this. Education helps you assert your rights and demand respect."
D'Souza agrees that she's in a male dominated industry but insists that the status quo is changing. "Heroines today have a say in what they want to do and how. I'm still new to Bollywood and striving for a mix of roles with character and commercial 'masala'. But down South, I'm in an enviable position of being perhaps one of the few female actors to have a fan following with both men and women," she insists. "That's why I am particular about what work I take on."
The actor has a historical epic coming up, Urumi. Directed by Santosh Sivan, it co-stars Prthviraj and Prabhu Deva. It is the second most expensive Malayalam film ever made after Pazhassi Raja and about four young men who plot to assassinate the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.
There's also M Raja's Tamil superhero adventure with Joseph Vijay. And the Hindi remake of Gautham Menon's 2003 Tamil film, Kaakha Kaakha. Force, an action thriller directed by Nishikanth Kamat, has her pairing up with John Abraham, who is also her co-star in Hook Ya Crook that has abruptly ground to a halt. She says, "There was a time when I took on films down South because it felt good to say I had 10 films in my kitty. But now I believe it's better to take on responsibility for the few films I'm doing."