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Mallika Sherawat reaches out to Sushma Swaraj for help

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Mallika Sherawat Sushma

Mumbai, Feb 13: Actress Mallika Sherawat has reached out to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, urging her to help in facilitation of an Indian visa for a co-founder of the NGO Free-A-Girl.

Mallika has made the request for Evelien Holsken, co-founder of the NGO, as her visa application has been repeatedly rejected.

The actress works closely with Free-A-Girl India, which fights against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children in India.

“Ma’am Sushma Swaraj, co-founder of Dutch NGO Free-A-Girl has been repeatedly denied visa to India. This NGO is doing superb work for trafficked children and women. Please help!” Mallika tweeted on Monday.

The NGO focuses on creating awareness about the problem of child prostitution and the impunity of offenders of child prostitution, and is mobilising support of the local community to fight against this crime.

Mallika is the brand ambassador of “School for Justice”, a unique programme by Free-A-Girl which helps girls who have been rescued from brothels by providing them with education, training and support in order to help them become lawyers and work within the judicial system.

“I feel very strongly about this issue and felt the urge to seek help in order to get support from the government and be granted visa allowance to the co-founder who has been tirelessly working for the benefit of Indian children and women.

“Sushma Swarajji has always addressed issues such as these and I am hoping to seek a positive response from her,” Mallika said in a statement.

IANS

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Vishal Dadlani, Neha Kakkar donate Rs 100,000 each to Keshav Lal

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Mumbai, Aug 17: Singer-composer Vishal Dadlani and singer Neha Kakkar have donated Rs 100,000 each to musician Keshav Lal, who has been playing a harmonium on the footpath of Pune for over 30 years.

Keshav Lal was invited to the set of “Indian Idol 10” where the show’s contestants and judges paid him a memorable tribute.

He was accompanied by his wife Soni Bai on the show. From being at the pinnacle of success to losing all his material possessions, the musician revealed that only music mattered to him and how staying loyal to one’s passion is very important.

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Keshav Lal

Keshav Lal, who has worked with award-winning filmmaker V Shantaram and composers Kalyanji-Anandji, performed the song “Awaara Hoon” on his harmonium during the episode.

Vishal and Neha announced a donation of Rs 100,000 each.

“It was our privilege to witness Keshav Lalji on the show. It is so wonderful to see a man so faithful to music throughout his life. He is an inspiration for all of us,” Vishal said in a statement.

“He has taught us that one should never leave his passion, come what may. I will urge all my friends and people from the industry to try their best and help Keshav Lalji in the best possible way we can,” he added.

IANS

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India is a corrupt, pretentious, indisciplined country: Annu Kapoor

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Mumbai, Aug 17: Veteran actor Annu Kapoor, who is gearing up for his forthcoming web series “Home”, has said India is a corrupt, pretentious, hypocritical and indisciplined country.

Annu spoke to the media at the trailer launch of ALT Balaji’s web series “Home”. He was at the event with co-actors Chetna Pande, Parikshit Sahni, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Amol Parashar, director Habib Faisal and producer Ekta Kapoor here on Thursday.

“Home” is inspired by true events. It narrates the story of a family struggling to fight for their home, which is stuck in the corrupt hands of builders.

As illegal construction is a very relevant issue in India, Annu was asked who is to be blamed — the government, bureaucrats, contractor or owner of the house.

He said: “Our country is one of the corrupt, pretentious, hypocrite and indisciplined countries of the world and there are many reasons for that. The race that refuses to take collective responsibility of the motherland and the society, will become like India.

“I have often heard people saying politicians are corrupt, but you elect them. You are corrupt, and that’s why you are electing them. So, it’s an interrelated relationship. When you don’t have power, that time you feel exploited and people who have power, they exploit others. So, it’s not that easy.

“Your entire system is damaged because you are corrupt. Till the time, you will not send an honest individual in the parliament, till that time, this whining and cribbing will continue”.

He also spoke about how the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act is not being implemented properly in various parts of India.

“The government of India has introduced RERA bill. It is like a tiger who doesn’t have paws because government of India has introduced it in a way where they have left it on state governments to modify or rectify a couple of things.

“The moment you leave it to the local administration, that time you have to realise that the nexus of politicians, builders and bureaucrats are legal in this country.

“I think we actors, directors and producers of shows and the media are after-products of the whole system and the day we will realise our collective responsibility, this question will not arise. In Mumbai, now there aren’t many cases of mafias but it will take some time.”

“Home” is directed by Habib Faisal. The 12-episode show will be streaming on the ALT Balaji app and the website from August 29.

IANS

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Hema Malini, Madhur Bhandarkar pay last respects to ‘Vajpayee’

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New Delhi, Aug 17: BJP MP Hema Malini and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar on Friday paid their last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.

Paying his tribute, Bhandarkar said “I met him once in 2006. He was a very good orator. The void of his absence can never be filled by anyone in Indian politics, he has been a role model for everyone and inspired many through his poetry, speeches and oratorship”

Vajpayee was a huge admirer of Bollywood’s ‘Dream Girl’ Hema Malini, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha, as a representative of his party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from 2003-2009. In 2014, she was elected to the Lok Sabha.

Last year, in an interview, she spoke about her first meeting with the former PM. “I remember when I told the office-bearers that I have mentioned Atal Bihari Vajpayee in speeches but I have never met him. I was taken to meet him. At the meeting, I felt that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a bit hesitant while talking,” she reminisced.

It was only when Hema Malini asked a woman present there about Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s behaviour that she found out that he was her huge fan. The actress-turned-politician revealed, the woman told her that Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a very big fan of yours. In 1972, he watched your film Seeta Aur Geeta 25 times. This is why he is hesitant to talk to you after suddenly meeting you.'”

Vajpayee, who had faded from public life for more than a decade following health complications, breathed his last on Thursday at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. He was 93 years old.

He was admitted to the hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection, chest congestion and urine output on the lower side. However, his condition gradually worsened and an official statement by the hospital on Wednesday evening revealed that he had to be put on life support.

Unfortunately, he passed away at 5.05pm on Thursday, despite all efforts to resuscitate him.

Vajpayee’s demise led to an outpouring of tributes from the movie world across India, and celebrities also remembered his much-loved poetic streak.

Read More: Indian film fraternity pays tribute to ‘selfless’, ‘warm’ Vajpayee

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