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UNICEF signs on India superstar Amitabh Bachchan to help children

© UNICEF/NYHQ/Toutounji
Mr. Bachchan addresses the crowd at the ceremony appointing him a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador at UNICEF House. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy stands with him.

By Sabine Dolan and Maya Dollarhide

NEW YORK, 15 April 2005 – Last night UNICEF welcomed acclaimed Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan to its ranks of international Goodwill Ambassadors in a formal signing event with Executive Director Carol Bellamy.

Following Indian tradition for honouring guests, Mr. Bachchan and his wife, Jaya, were presented with necklaces of flowers. He met Ms. Bellamy and signed a letter of commitment for a two-year assignment with the agency.

“I feel greatly honoured that UNICEF has chosen me to be a Goodwill Ambassador, and to be able to propagate the issues that UNICEF is associated with, in India and elsewhere,” said Mr. Bachchan.

© UNICEF/NYHQ/Toutounji
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan presents a copy of his autobiography To Be or Not To Be – Amitabh Bachchan, co-authored by his wife Jaya Bachchan, to UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.

The newly-minted ambassador began his work with UNICEF in 2002 during a polio outbreak in Northern India. Through a series of award-winning television and radio commercials, he asked parents to have their children vaccinated against the crippling disease. 

Mr. Bachchan will continue the fight for polio eradication as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, in addition to campaigning for HIV/AIDS education. He will highlight these issues through field visits, public appearances and speaking out on behalf of the world’s children.

"Amitabh has the star power to illuminate the lives of the millions of children who are living in dire circumstances," said Ms. Bellamy.  "We look forward to a long collaboration with him, and we feel honoured to have him as part of the UNICEF family."




14 April:
UNICEF welcomes its latest international Goodwill Ambassador, Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan.

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