News

Volume 3 Issue 3 - February 01, 2005

Bollywood stars take up disability issues

DNIS News Network – Popular Bollywood actors Abhishek Bachchan and Akshay Kumar have signed on agreements to promote different disability issues.

Abhishek Bachchan will workwith prerna, an NGO working with dyslexic childrenNoted actor Abhishek Bachchan has joined hands with ‘Prerna’ an Ahmedabad-based public trust which is involved in the education of dyslexic children.

Bachchan will spread awareness about dyslexia, a neurological condition of children with high intelligence quotient but having special educational needs. The actor will be part of mass media messages that will aim to promote awareness about dyslexic children. Briefing the media, Bachchan said, “Children with dyslexia have IQs that take them to the zone of genius but their neurological construct combined with unaware educational methods, plunge them to the bottom of the ladder. These children rely on parents, teachers and others to understand their challenge of relating to everything a little differently.” The actor will also participate in outreach programmes for such kids.

Dyslexia termed as Specific Learning Disability, is a neurological condition due to which children or adults experience difficulties with reading, spelling or writing. It is four times more prevalent among boys than girls. It is estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s school going children are dyslexic. About 30 million children are known to be dyslexic in India.

Meanwhile action star Akshay Kumar has taken on the challenge of promoting Special Olympics. The actor says that his mission is to “bring a smile on the faces of children who are deprived of sunshine.”

Akshay Kumar, action hero, will take on the challenging role of promoting Special OlympicsAkshay had enthusiastically taken up the challenge of the new job, which some of his Bollywood colleagues had reportedly declined. “There are 30 million mentally disabled people in India. Of these 95 percent live their lives in anonymity. Their parents and families treat them as shameful secrets. That's so wrong…they are normal people. We should learn from them, rather than the other way. We take so many things for granted,” added Kumar.

Recalling an inspiring moment, he said, “I remember seeing the 2000 Olympics in Atlanta where eight such special athletes were running for a 100-metre race. When one of them fell down, the other seven-stopped short in their tracks, came and picked him up, and re-started the race again. Such people are more focussed, gentle and humble than us.”

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