|Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan appeals for aid to tsunami survivors|
NEW YORK, 13 January 2005 – Amitabh Bachchan, popular star of Indian cinema and recently appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, appealed last week for relief to tsunami survivors. Mr. Bachchan spoke passionately of the world’s collective duty to the children who are the youngest and most vulnerable of the survivors.
Mr. Bachchan is, in popular parlance, the king of Indian cinema. Mr. Bachchan welcomed his new role, saying, “I am extremely pleased to accept this responsibility. I hope that by adding my voice to the cause of children, it will make a difference in the lives of boys and girls here at home and across the region.”
Mr. Bachchan is the son of the great Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. He is extremely well-respected across South Asia. His appeal spans all walks of life and extends from the youngest to the very oldest. Since 2002, he has been taking time out of his busy acting schedule to help support India’s polio immunization programme and has appeared in a series of award-winning television and radio commercials. Thanks to his enormous popularity, credibility and appeal as a humanitarian, he has been able to play a key role in convincing parents to have their children immunized.
A prolific actor, Mr. Bachchan has starred in more than 150 films. He is not only a Bollywood star but also a recipient of international accolades. In 1999, Mr. Bachchan was voted the ‘Star of the Millennium’ in a BBC Internet poll, defeating the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Robert De Niro for the honour. In 2001, he was awarded the ‘Padma Bhushan’ for his outstanding contributions to Indian cinema. He has also provided narration for numerous films and cultural programmes.
Mr. Bachchan is married to Jaya Bhaduri, a talented and popular actress. They have two children.