Celebrated for his role as the antagonist in various Bollywood Blockbusters, Sonu Sood is currently the off-screen hero. The actor has voluntarily taken up relief work to help migrants reach home. He has even taken initiatives to assist health workers. His team has set up a toll-free number (1800-121-3711).
“Migrant workers have helped build our roads, homes, and offices. We cannot stand and watch them be homeless,” says actor Sonu Sood.
As a part of his ‘Ghar Bhejo’ campaign, Sonu has been providing buses to migrant workers to travel from Mumbai to their hometowns each day since the lockdown in Mumbai was implemented. He has helped approximately 12,000 migrant workers to reach home. Arrangements for another 45,000 migrant workers have been made. Apart from that, 45,000 people are provided with food and water each day.
“Initially, I spoke to some of the migrants here. They were in tears, and their kids were in bad shape. I requested some of them to wait for a day or two, stating that I will try to help,” he recalls. “The logistics and paperwork took effort; we obtained clearances and with all medical safety precautions in place, we managed to send 350 migrants to Karnataka. That was the first step,” he elaborates. “We have been plying buses only to those States that have given us permissions.”
Sonu calls this success a team effort. He says the film fraternity has also pitched in to help. He mentions how director Farah Khan calls daily to know the requirements and helps with arranging water for everyone.
Reports indicate that buses cost anywhere from ₹65,000 to ₹2 lakh for hire. Sonu began hiring them at his own expense. People have come forward to do their bit for the food, water, and other requirements.
Actor Sonu Sood even opened the doors of his family-owned Shakti Sagar Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai, for providing shelter to paramedical staff and doctors. He appreciated the efforts of the healthcare workers, calling them the wall between the world and the virus. He expresses his happiness in being able to provide them food and a place to rest before they continue working for the well-being of the people the next day.
This reel-life villain has proven to be a real-life hero.