The Pink Room: Conversation with the man with a golden heart, Sonu Sood

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The Pink Room: Amid the coronavirus outbreak across the world, Sonu Sood has been doing his bit to help migrant workers reach their homes.

Meme trends today have become a vital source of confirmation on what is trending or not. Surprisingly, Bollywood villains have always been found to be much better people off-screen. Sonu Sood is trending (and trust us, when we say, it’s organic!). 

Crises are sadly used by the entertainment world to score some brownie PR point, projecting the actor as a good Samaritan. Entertainment editors are flooded with daily requests on which actor has donated to which cause. These often include the explicit detail of how much quantum of effort and monies were pooled in. As an entertainment editor, it is an evil you have bargained to live with. But when you see a celebrity trending for his contribution to society, the reflex action is that you reach out to your inbox and wonder: Did I miss the email? Well, no. There was none from Sonu Sood or his team, this is so rare a trait that we wonder if one of the superstars will be queuing for permissions to frame scripts on Sonu himself. 

Sonu has not just donated PPE kits, he offered his Mumbai hotel for people to stay, and arranged buses to take migrants back home. But then, all these were done without any attempt to gain publicity.


“Like everyone, we also saw so many people walking down the highways with the little kids, with elders. I thought this is something unacceptable and we have to help them. These are the people who made our home, these are the people who helped us build our lives, and now we cannot let them just walk on the highways,” the actor says; though the actor was first reluctant to do an interview on the matter.

ALSO READ | EXCLUSIVE: Sonu Sood urges citizens to help during COVID 19 crisis: Get into fighting mode as this is the time

“I’m glad I could send thousands back to their native land. Still, the journey is not over. The target is to help till the last migrant reaches his home. I decided to help them because I knew that the whole process of attaining permissions is difficult. I spoke to local Maharashtra government officials, I spoke to different officials in Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka, to get the requisite permissions. We arranged buses and food for the journey,” the actor says. 

Asked why he wasn’t tempted to make noise about it, he adds, “Coming from Punjab and staying in Mumbai I understand the problems. I remember the first time I came on a train I didn’t have a reservation. I was sitting all night. I realised the journey is going to be tough. I have gone through the same issues of arranging travel for me in buses and trains during the college days. Today, I feel I am in a position to help, so I helped. I’m just doing my bit like a common man.”

ALSO READ | WATCH: Sonu Sood helps migrant workers in Maharashtra to reach home as he arranges buses to Karnataka

The actor and his team used to visit Dahisar Naka and Kalwa Chowk in Thane, where they distributed almost two trucks of fruits and food. They tried to convince people to not attempt a walking exodus, and stay for a couple of days till they could manage some means for them to travel. As the count of families desperate to reach their homes swelled, Sonu and team organised buses, conducted medical tests of passengers, and arranged for food before they boarded these buses. Few of these buses have reached their destination. The families of the people who travelled have taken thanked him and are praying for the Bollywood star. “This is the most important thing I’ve done in my life. Everything else is meaningless. Maybe I got into the industry to do this. It is the most satisfying thing I have ever done,” he adds. 

Check out Sonu Sood’s video below:

When the news of RWA activism mistreating the front-line warriors reached Sonu, he offered his Juhu-based hotel for them to stay for free. “Giving my hotel to help here was the most important thing I would say because a lot of people were troubling the doctors, paramedical staffs, nurses in their societies. So I just thought why not give my hotel to them, and that will also help them and spread the message across to everyone in the country that these are the only people who can save you from the virus. If you don’t help them, there’s nothing that can save you from this pandemic,” he says.  

What is more touching is the actor didn’t just stop at making arrangements. He went to see them off at the departure. “I have taken this thing as a personal agenda because it’s important to bring their trust back on humanity. All these kids walking with their parents and with elders. They feel that there is no one to help their mom, dad and they are suffering alone on the highways. So the personal touch was essential. I thought I have to come out, I can’t be sitting at home, and we can’t leave them on the street,” he says, adding “I don’t know what mental trauma they facing and how easy it would be for them to come back. Let’s see how many people gather that faith, trust and courage to return to the big cities.”

ALSO READ | Memes FT Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan erupt as fans hail Sonu Sood for helping migrant workers; Actor is left ROFL

For those who think it is easy, reportedly the actor has been dedicating almost 17-18 hours of his day for this. “Groundwork was critical. We have made an email group, especially for this. My team of 8-10 people are making notes and collecting details on the travelers. Information such as where they are going to travel, how they’re going to travel, the food arrangements, the local travel for them to reach the bus stands from where the buses are going is collected. It’s a daunting task, but I’m glad and thankful to God that we’re able to do it and the journey is on,” the actor informs.

Sonu is also disheartened with one thing: “I was distraught seeing them die on the highways. I have all the details of the people who died. I was upset that there was no mention of their names but just a number (migrant one, two, three). They have their names; they have an identity. They are the most powerful people in society. Because of them, we exist. No matter what field we are in, without them, we are meaningless. We cannot let them die, and we have to help them. All of us. We have to recognise that they are not just numbers, they are people with name and family,” the actor says passionately urging for people to step-in.

ALSO READ | Sonu Sood helps the underprivileged by distributing food

The actor had also provided Ramzan meal to 25000 migrants and PPE kits in Punjab. The actor was on records urging people that during the lockdown, every household should make an extra meal and donate it to the needy. “In the times of this pandemic, some people were scared about how will their Ramzan go. It is a very auspicious and important time for them, and I didn’t want them to be disappointed. Similarly, PPE kits were required in Punjab because a lot of religious and smaller districts were not able to source them. We sourced and sent it to them. These are small measures we can all do. I am just doing what best I can,” Sonu concludes. 

We agree with the actor. What’s the point of being an influencer, if you can’t influence your fans to do the right thing? But if publicity is what will drive other celebrities to reach out to people and help them, I have no qualms offering it on a plate to those deserving. But lest you forget a story in media will never make you a bigger hero than in the eyes of people you genuinely help.

ALSO READ | Sonu Sood shows his concern as he tries to make sure that every migrant reaches their destination

Editor’s Note: The Pink Room scrutinises how a day in the lives of different professionals have undergone a change during COVID-19 pandemic

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