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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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Whether MeToo stays or fizzles out, people will be wary: Neena Gupta

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#MeToo

New Delhi, Oct 19: The most substantial impact of the #MeToo movement, which took off in India following actress Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment allegations against actor Nana Patekar, is that people now will be wary of engaging in misconduct — whether or not the movement continues — says veteran actress Neena Gupta.

Asked if she feels the #MeToo wave will stay in India or whether it will die down, Neena told IANS here: “See, proving (an experience) is very difficult here. Right now, girls have got the strength to speak up, but those girls will say (take names) who have nothing to lose.

“Girls who have still something to lose, will not be able to say. But I think whether (the movement) stays or fizzles out, people will be wary of doing anything of this sort now.”

The #MeToo movement in India started after Tanushree in September recalled an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of “Horn OK Pleassss” in 2008.

After that, a slew of controversies surrounding Vikas Bahl, Chetan Bhagat, Gursimran Khamba, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor and Alok Nath have emerged. Why did naming and shaming come so late in Bollywood?

“That’s how it is. That’s how it works here. I say in conferences ‘I think it’s a curse to be born a woman in India, especially a poor woman’. Being a poor woman is a curse… It gives me so much pain when I see them,” she said.

Neena has been in the industry for over three decades and has featured in films like “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron”, “Utsav”, “Trikaal”, “Khalnayak”, “Mulk”, “Veere Di Wedding” and “The Last Colour”.

Asked if age is now detrimental for an actress’ career in Bollywood, Neena agreed and said that after a certain age, they don’t receive good offers.

“There are not many roles. I always say that, ‘After a certain age, what is a woman’s role? Taking care of the family and home. After that there is no role’. When the society will change, I think we would have more roles on-screen.”

Last year, Neena was in the spotlight after she took to social media to ask for “good roles”. She has now been frequently seen in films.

Apart from “Mulk” and “Veere Di Wedding” this year, she has been seen in the latest release “Badhaai Ho” and will next be seen in commercial drama “Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar”.

“Earlier in these subjects, there were no big roles. We used to get small character roles. Now films are being made on solid and substantial roles,” said Neena, who essays a 50-year-old pregnant woman in “Badhaai Ho”.

The film is about a couple that has a grown up son already, but they get set to become parents again.

She said the film is not only about breaking taboos, but about ageless love.

“It is an important thing and I don’t think anyone has ever spoken about this. The more I worked in the film, the more I realised that it is very important and is more than just ‘hasi, mazaak (humour)’,” added Neena, who is the mother of popular designer Masaba Gupta, whom she had with legendary cricketer Vivian Richards.

She describes her own journey as a mother “very tough”.

“My journey was very tough. I had no money. Money is the most important thing, I have realised in this world. I didn’t have a husband and relatives. So it was really tough, but the joy Masaba gave me… The joy of motherhood… She was a very good child she did not trouble me much. The joy she gave me was enough to go through anything,” said Neena, who raised Masaba as a single mother.

IANS

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Varun, Katrina to appear together in ‘Koffee with Karan’

Karan also took to Instagram on Thursday to share photographs from the shoot.

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Varun Dhawan and Katrina Kaif
Photo Crideit : Twitter (Karan Johar)

Mumbai, Oct 18 : Actors Varun Dhawan and Katrina Kaif will bring in some fun to the forthcoming season of ‘Koffee with Karan’ with their appearance.

The sixth season, hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar, will premiere on Star World on October 21.

Karan also took to Instagram on Thursday to share photographs from the shoot.

“So much fun in the koffee house today!! A riot of a combination with some great conversation,” Karan shared with the image.

His chat show is hugely popular as he gets his celebrity friends and fraternity members to open up about their lives in an up, close and personal way.

Tag : #KoffeeWithKaran

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MeToo allegations against Anu Malik false, baseless: Lawyer

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Anu Malik

Mumbai, Oct 18: Singer Anu Malik has denied allegations that he sexually harassed singer Shweta Pandit, who has called him a “pedophile” and “sexual predator”.

“The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #MeToo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious,” Malik’s lawyer Zulfiquar Memon told IANS.

Pandit, in a Twitter post, recounted her ordeal with Malik in an incident dating back to 2000. She claims once in a cabin at a studio, he told her he would give her a song with Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaan “but first give me a kiss now”.

“He then smiled, what I would recall the most evil grin I’ve seen,” Pandit said of the incident when she was all of 15 years old.

Before Shweta, singer Sona Mohapatra called out Malik.

View this post on Instagram

To all the young girls & women who are coming out with their experiences with this creep, journalists, ‘fans’ & even kids from college, know that you are not alone. This guy, #KailashKher is a serial predator & has been for years as are many others like Anu Malik in the industry. I cannot be tweeting about everyone cus I work 18 hour work days & have a life to live & breathe in. Also I cannot comment on many others basis heresay. That would be unfair. (Many journalists have been asking me for stories thinking that I’m most likely to ‘spill the beans’. I’m not) It is important that we stick to facts & our personal experiences to make this a serious & credible movement to help clean a system & lopsided power structure. It is just a start but an important one. #TimesUp #India #Change

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IANS

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