Jackie Shroff on becoming Thalassemia brand ambassador: It could’ve happened to my daughter if we didn’t know about it

As the world celebrates World Thalassemia Day, Jackie Shroff shares how he intends to spread awareness around the genetic blood disorder. The actor, who has films like Saaho and RAW in his kitty, became the brand ambassador of Thalassemia in India recently.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Published: May 8, 2018 1:47:07 pm
Jackie Shroff with daughter Krishna Shroff photos Jackie Shroff attended the screening of son Tiger’s recent film Baaghi 2 with daughter Krishna.

Jackie Shroff, who has a blockbuster line-up of films in his 40-year-long film career, has now associated himself with something which requires awareness in India. The actor, who was confirmed to be a part of John Abraham’s espionage thriller titled Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), has also become the brand ambassador of Thalassemia. By spreading information about the genetic blood disorder, Shroff appeals to everyone to pass on the awareness to others.

While speaking to indianexpress.com, Shroff shared how his daughter Krishna would’ve been born with Thalassemia major if his mother-in-law hadn’t made him and his wife Ayesha aware about it. “Everybody should be aware of it before having a baby, to get a blood test done. Otherwise, if you have Thalassemia minor and you get a baby with Thalassemia major, then it’s a problem. Every 15 days the child will need to undergo a blood transfusion. So why make the child suffer because of the parents’ ignorance? It could’ve happened to my daughter Krishna if my wife and I didn’t know about it. I was not aware but my mother-in-law was. This is something every parent should know about,” he said.

Agreeing that the country has loads of social and health issues which require immediate attention, the 61-year-old actor explained why we lacked awareness. “I hope everyone takes the magic wand in their hands. Everyone should be a brand ambassador for Thalassemia so that everyone is aware of it. The only problem is its reach to rural India because there are no machines available, no technicians available, so that’s the difficult part, to reach to them and to diagnose it through a blood test. So that gets a little heavy. But I thought if I support it today, maybe by tomorrow when I’m not there, my children Tiger and Krishna will carry the message and so will the people,” he said.

Now that Shroff is a brand ambassador of Thalassemia, how does he plan to spread awareness? “Through everybody who’s in the media. I won’t be able to do it alone. I’ll need all newspapers and the digital medium. And in rural India, we need to have workshops, we need Doordarshan to propagate it. I’m thinking of talking to the auto union, the bus union, the train union, and various other unions, and maybe have a workshop for them,” Shroff said.

Lastly, what is that one issue which the actor feels needs a feature film in order to educate the masses? “Traffic and noise pollution is making the artery hard. There are young guys who are dying of heart attack. How are they dying? It is noise pollution or stress level. There are so many issues. Everyone should lend support. One person cannot do it alone. Every school must have the first aid training.”

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