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‘Gender issues are my first priority’

Actor Gul Panag says films, if need be, can take a backseat in her life but she will always continue to support social causes in the country

Attending events and functions just for fun or to do a “favour” for a friend may be the funda some celebs adopt but actor Gul Panag rate social causes and issues above everything. Therefore, the actor agreed to attend the store launch by fashion designer Anita Dongre in association with NGO Shop for Change in the Capital recently.

“I left work back home to be here. The NGO works for the benefit of cotton-producing farmers and their families. The point is that the farmers should get a fair deal and they should not get cheated. We are roping in Indian designers who will be buying cotton from these farmers and deal directly with their families. Anita is the first designer to collaborate with us. Most garments at the store have been made from cotton,” said Gul who is also an advisory board member of the NGO.

Gul added that films, for once, may take a backseat in her life but support to social causes will never. “A number of people ask me about how do I manage to divide and devote my time for so many things and my answer is that time for things you really feel from the heart comes out naturally. As a human being, I feel it is my responsibility to do my bit for the society and if I have the means than why not,” said Gul with her tone getting serious and determined.

“Our NGO has been working for the cause of female foeticide and I want to work and involve more and more people. I also want to work for the cause of gender issues in our society. If we look at the statistics, some places in states like Punjab and Haryana face severe gender issues. With development in our society, we all should work collectively to eradicate them,” said Gul and flared her floor length off-shoulder cotton dress to pose for the shutterbugs.

The actor was recently seen in movie, Turning 30 which did fair business at the box office. Gul said the movie will always remain close to her heart. “The biggest reason was that I related to the film as a woman. It is now that cinema in our country is moving ahead of those extreme images of woman. I often wondered why Bollywood always offered different roles and shades to men but never to women. There was never a choice for them. She either had to be a sati savitri or play the vamp. Why don’t we see real women in our films?” wondered the actor and added if we talk about films like Dor and others done by her, every character portrayed was different.

“I don’t go by what others are doing. I opt for what I feel is right. We are gifted by brains and can choose for ourselves so I chose characters that I could relate with and the characters that portrayed Indian women. I have never rated quantity over quality and will continue to do so,” she said.

Gul feels glad that Bollywood films are getting more experimental now. “For example, the success of Turning 30 proves that Indian cinema is not confined to any language barrier. Audiences here are ready for change and experiments and we should serve them what they want,” she concluded.

Source: The Pioneer

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