Source : The Hindu
Bollywood personalities Farooq Sheikh and Anurag Kashyap on Monday highlighted the need to provide proper healthcare to marginalised communities in rural India. They also asserted that civil society must extend support to humanitarian organisations working in these neglected areas.
Launching Médecins Sans Frontières’ “Who Cares?” campaign here, Mr. Kashyap stressed that public health system should become more sustainable.
“Honestly speaking, I was not aware of kala-azar. But too many people are dying of this disease, which can be cured with effective treatment. If left untreated, it is fatal in most cases. That is why we need to extend support to organisations like MSF, which are creating awareness about this disease and providing treatment,” said the film-maker, who once aspired to become a biologist during his Delhi University days before becoming a film addict and eventually a well-known director of offbeat films.
Complimenting MSF for working in vulnerable areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Chhattisgarh and Bihar, the film-maker said he had been browsing every available literature on the organisation over the past 15 months.
“Its transparency can be seen from the fact that it has even revealed details of its funding. MSF’s volunteers are working in conflict zones, ”said Mr. Kashyap.
Farooq Sheikh complimented the work being done by an Indian doctor Zahid Ansari, with whom he had an engaging interactive session. “Dr. Ansari could easily have continued working at King Fahad Hospital in Jeddah. But his father taught him to serve humanity and at less than half the salary, which he would have been drawing at the hospital in Gulf. ”
Mr. Sheikh urged people to contribute to organisations that are making a difference in the lives of innumerable underprivileged individuals. “Human pain and misery go beyond the frontiers and that is why we need organisations like MSF that serve humanity without considering any geographical boundary. When you ignore suffering of others you are dehumanising yourself.” Exhorting the public not to watch meaningless movies, Mr. Sheikh said: “If you are a discerning audience then you will have discerning film-makers. Watching a movie in a pitch-dark hall with a group of strangers is not an enjoyable experience. Yet we pay our hard-earned money to do this. If the film creates headache then we need to shun such film-makers.”