March 1, 2006
When did you decide to bid adieu to films?
After ANOTA (Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammai), I gave a statement that I would stop acting in films. After 2 years of gap, I acted in Style film.
Tell us about your Trust?
I started SHINE Development Trust with an objective of providing medical assistance to the sick and poor children. I don’t give them money directly, but to the hospital in which the poor kids get treated. There is so much of poverty in India. If you go to any general hospital, you would realize more about poverty. Everybody should contribute in order to eradicate poverty. We are also suffering from extreme corruption. Law is not being implemented at all.
What prompted you to act in films again?
I rejected around 20 films during this gap of 2 years. When I prayed to God, I got a sign saying that I should work for the producers who help my Trust. Sridhar was the first person to ask to act in films after I made this decision. He came forward and donated some money to the Trust. I am also acting in Bommarillu film that is being produced by Dil Raju, who also donated money.
Do you have any suggestion to the film industry regarding social service?
I think all film stars from Telugu film industry should join their hands together and start a Trust and pool in money to construct a hospital for the poor. There by stars will get an opportunity to payback to the society that has given them the fame and money.
Don’t you think stars would like to have individual publicity in stead of going for a joint venture?
I don’t know about others. But I don’t want any publicity. My social service is directly connected to the God. According to bible, I should not publicize my charity work. But nobody believes you in the current world without proper evidence.
Do you have any plans of joining politics?
Absolutely no! We all campaigned for TDP when it was formed. I got an offer to join TDP at that time which I refused. During the recent assembly elections, I got an opportunity to join Congress, but rejected it. Politics are not for me. If I contribute 1% of what Mother Teresa did for the society, I will be a happy woman.
Is there any strong incident that led you into the path of social service?
In 2001 I got a strong urge to help society and be like Jesus. After thoroughly reading Bible, I went out to help a 12-year old boy who was suffering from cancer. My intention was to donate Rs. 5000/- so that it would help them. But parents of that boy had concealed a fact that the boy’s condition was beyond cure. Since I am a movie star, they thought that I could spend lakhs of rupees on their boy. They joined him in Apollo Hospital, Chennai. They told me that the operation would cost 3 lakhs and if he could survive that operation the further treatment would cost around 15 lakhs.
I was worried about the entire episode. I wanted to donate small amount and get out of the whole thing and the parents of the boy put in fix by joining him in Apollo. I was doing all this without the knowledge of my husband. Then my inner voice said that I should ask my friends for help. I never asked my friends for money even for my personal use. I listened to my inner voice and phoned my friends on the day of Christmas. KS Ravi Kumar (5,000), Arjun (25,000), Prakash Raj (10,000), Radhika (7,000), Suhasini (10,000), Vijaya Shanti (20,000) contributed to the cause on the same day by shelling out some money. I should give a special commendation to hero Arjun. He involves a lot in charity work and never publicizes it. I could able to generate around 90,000 in just one day. It gave me confidence. By the time I collected 3 lakhs, that boy expired.
Then I asked my inner voice about why boy died when I put efforts to help him. My inner voice said that destiny can’t be changed, but Jesus had tested me about my worthiness with this incident.
Since then I got seriously involved with social service. I was very allergenic to hospitals. But changed my attitude after entering social service.
You can reach SHINE Development Trust at 55164252.
Allari Ravi Babu
KS Rama Rao 2
Mohan Babu 2
KV Ramana IAS
Devi Sri Prasad
AM Ratnam 2
Ram Gopal Varma 3
Mahesh Babu 2
Mohan Babu 1
KS Rama Rao 1
AS Ravi Kumar
Ram Gopal Varma 2
Ram Gopal Varma