Actor Sonu Sood has launched a scholarship on his mother’s name to underprivileged students in India.
“India will improve when everyone gets education,” he has said on a his social media post, adding, “My mother Prof.Saroj Sood always believed that everyone deserves an equal chance to a healthy happy future. So launching full scholarships for students on her name Prof.Saroj Sood scholarships today for higher education. I believe, financial challenges should not stop any one from reaching their full potential. Send in your entries at email@example.com (in next 10 days) and we will reach out to you.”
According to media reports, student from families with less than Rs.2 lakh in annual income, can apply for the scholarship, provided they have good academic records. Sonu has promised to take care of all their expenses – including course fees, hostel accommodation, and food. The scholarships will be available for courses across disciplines like Medicine, Engineering, Robotics and Automation, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Fashion, Journalism, Data Science, and Business Studies.
Recently, on his 47th birthday, Sonu Sood floated a free app and website called ‘Pravasi Rojgar’ to provide meaningful employment opportunities to migrant workers in India. The platform was built to connect job seekers with job providers. The initiative also aims to train the workers with requisite skills so as to increase their chances of bagging a good job. The actor has tied up with Learnet Skills, a joint venture between Schoolnet India and National Skill Development Corporation, to fulfil this.
The Hero of COVID-19 Pandemic
The Punjabi-origin actor, famous for his roles in Bollywood hits like Jodhaa Akbar (2008) and Happy New Year (2014) among others, has been in the news in the past few months for his acts of kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the immigrant crisis in the initial weeks of the nation-wide lockdown, when thousands of daily wage labourers and immigrant families in cities were forced to return to their villages by foot, Sonu took charge for sending them home safely. As part of the ‘Ghar Bhejo’ or ‘Take (them) home’ initiative, which Sonu launched with his friend and restaurateur Neeti Goel, 18,000 migrants were sent back to their homes in less than a month.
In fact, in the last three months, the actor has helped over 20,000 migrants reunite with their families. Be it Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar or Odisha, Sonu Sood helped people get home through buses, trains, and in some instances, even by organising air tickets. He also introduced a toll-free helpline number so that migrant workers could send in their requests.
Another group that was affected the most during the pandemic was the health workers and medical staff who were not just working long hours but also were at the highest risk of catching the infection. With a view to assist them and provide a place of stay, Sonu Sood opened the gates of his Juhu hotel in Mumbai. Additionally, Sonu has reportedly given away 1,500 PPE kits to paramedics across Punjab, and also donated 25,000 face shields to police officers in Maharashtra.
In another actor of compassion, Sood also organised for a charter flight for Indian students stuck in Kyrgyzstan, from the capital city Bishkek to Varanasi. Reportedly, 135 students reached the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport on July 26, 2020.
Sonu attributes his kindness and generosity to the influence of his late parents Shakti Sagar Sood and Saroj Sood.
In 2016, he launched the ‘Saroj initiative’ – named after his mother – to help acid attack survivors; and since then, he has been committed to helping these survivors as well as other differently-abled people. In April this year, the actor launched an initiative called Shakti Annadanam, named after his late father, to provide more than 150,000 meals daily to the underprivileged in Mumbai.