Sameera upset with Bollywood's 'apathy' towards orphans

Mumbai, Aug 23 Sameera Reddy seems to be quite a gutsy girl. The actress remains unflustered despite being attacked by property goons while helping girls from an orphanage who were being evicted.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 | 5:12:41 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Sameera Reddy seems to be quite a gutsy girl. The actress remains unflustered despite being attacked by property goons while helping girls from an orphanage who were being evicted.

Sameera said she was unhappy with the attitude of the film fraternity to the trauma of the hapless girls. She maintains while people from all other walks of life came forward to help, the people from the entertainment world did not bother.

Sameera told IANS: 'The response from all over the country was overwhelming - corporate people, working-class, even domestic servants offered support. Middle class people were willing to dig into their pockets and give Rs.50 to help these kids.

'But I'll be honest with you. No one from the film industry called me. Not a single Bollywood person, though I know so many of them so well. It's strange.'

The girls were thrown out of the Gulabnagar orphanage on Independence Day.

'Random people are coming forward to give these homeless kids breakfast, clothes, but not from film industry. Last time I saw this happening was during the torrential rains in Mumbai. I'm so ashamed when the electronic medium asks names of people from the industry who came forward to help.'

Apparently, the only film person to call Sameera about the orphans was Feroz Abbas Khan, director of 'Gandhi My Father'.

'My mom helps me with my charitable work. We've been supporting these orphanages on our own. At first I didn't want the media to be part of my work with these orphan girls. But when there was a case of molestation at the orphanage I had to seek media help.

'Last week I had to face a mob fury. The girls were petrified. I'm glad the media were there to report how I was attacked. I've had an overwhelming response for help from across the country. Even my maid wanted to donate.'

The actress is undaunted.

'I now have police protection. I've relocated the girls to a builder-friend's home. But to have girls from the age of two to 11 thrown out of their home on Independence Day... what kind of an independence have we achieved for the country's children and women?'

Her best moments are now spent with these kids.

'These girls are so bright and beautiful. One of them, a green-eyed girl, will one day give Aishwarya Rai a run for her money.'

Career-wise Sameera has her plate full.

'I've just finished a comedy '123' with a new director Ashwini Dheer and Abbas-Mustan's 'Race'. I think Sujoy Ghosh's 'Alladdin' is stuck because of Sanjay Dutt's incarceration. But right now I'm consumed by looking after the orphanage kids. It's a bigger high than being applauded for my performance.'

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