Whenever Bollywood stars indulge in philanthropy, they raise doubts of a personal motive. But actor-producer Ajay Devgn is emphatic that his short film on the burning issue of female foeticide has no commercial purpose.
Ajay has teamed with his actress wife Kajol for the social message-based short, which is yet to be titled.
"The film on female feoticide is not for commercial purposes. It is to create awareness. I think it's our responsibility to do something that will create awareness about the issue of girl child and female feoticide,"Ajay told IANS in an interview.
"I will do whatever I can in this regard, and it is not for business.You can't view everything from the point of view of business," he added.
The three-minute short is a part of the Maharashtra government's "Save The Girl Child" campaign. Ajay, who has featured in movies like "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", "Company", the "Golmaal" series and "Raajneeti", is reportedly making the film for free.
Thanks to the film, the husband-wife duo will return to the screen two years after "Toonpur Ka Super Hero".
Ajay, who has a nine-year-old daughter, Nysa, with Kajol, hopes the mindset of people who indulge in female foeticide will change.
"I don't find any difference between a boy and a girl. Earlier, people used to believe that a girl will not be able to support the family, today they are working," said the 43-year-old actor, who also has a two-year-old son, Yug.
He is a strong believer in the saying: "A son is a son till he takes a wife. A daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.
"I personally think that girls take care of their family more than boys. Even after they get married, they come back and still take care of their families. Boys, once they get married, are gone. I don't know when the mindset of people will change."
According to the 2011 Census, there are 914 girls for every 1,000 boys countrywide.
"It is sad that female foeticide is still prevalent in our society and it's not just among people who can't read or write but is also prevalent among well-off and educated families. It is murderous and ridiculous,"said Ajay.
Recently, Aamir Khan dealt with the festering issue on his debut TV show "Satyamev Jayate". He brought audiences face to face with startling statistics about the girl child and how the issue has plagued society over the years.
While the female foeticide episode of Aamir's show attracted stupendous viewership, Ajay says it is tough to get audiences to watch films on such a socially relevant subject. What can help, however, is the right promotional strategy.
"I would like to blend the message with entertainment. We are making a short film and if that could run in between entertaining films, it will reach out to more people," he said.
"If you tell people to come and see such a film in theatres, they won't come. It has to be put in between commercial films that people go and watch. That's how we can create awareness," added the actor, who is also the brand ambassador of the Mumbai police "Alert Mumbaikar" campaign.