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When Screen Big Picture’s first session for 2009 was held at Mumbai’s Express Towers,the question before the celebrity panel was—Celebrity Social Responsibility: Does it Go Beyond Lip Service?

When Screen Big Picture’s first session for 2009 was held at Mumbai’s Express Towers,the question before the celebrity panel was—Celebrity Social Responsibility: Does it Go Beyond Lip Service? Organised with UTVi as the television partner,the event boasted a panel comprising filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and actors Imran Khan,Dia Mirza and Gul Panag,who spoke about Bollywood’s involvement with social causes. Tackling the question,“Do socially relevant films go beyond winning accolades to be eye-openers,” Hirani pointed out how both his Munnabhai films balanced the demands for entertainment with an underlying social message. “If a film helps to change even one person’s life,it’s worth the effort,” he said.

Khan and Panag added that filmstars were now cautious about the kind of products they endorse. “I am quite socially responsible and I strictly endorse only products that I feel strongly about,” said Khan,adding that he would never do an ad for a fairness cream. The young heartthrob has also been part of a play called the Vagina Monologues,which helped raise funds for women who were victims of domestic abuse. Panag,who has been seen in issue-based films like Dhoop,Dor and Summer 2007,said that the media does not cover events unless a famous face is involved. “It is great if due to my presence,the cause gets highlighted,” she said.

Mirza,who is associated with organizations like CRY,highlighted the fact that many actors are aware of important political and social events,contrary to popular notions. “Why is it such a surprise to everyone if an actress talks intelligently? Why can’t she be capable of knowing political issues around her?” she asked.

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First published on: 07-05-2009 at 01:18:14 am
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