Anupam Kher raises money for charity in the US

Chicago: Bollywood veteran Anupam Kher was the chief guest at a fundraiser gala here organised by NGO Pratham, to raise money towards education of under-privileged children in India.

The fundraiser at India House Banquet Hall in Schaumburg was hosted by co-founder and CEO of Pratham, Madhav Chavan and Kher was the keynote speaker.

"My background of cinema helps me work with children. My recognized face brings a certain kind of awareness that can change people`s lives," Kher told reporters.

The Padma Shri Award winner, said that instead of endorsing a shampoo or a perfume he wants to lend his name to Pratham, as it was a worthwhile cause.

The 55-year-old, who has acted in about 400 films including `Saraansh`, `Bend It Like Beckham` and `Bride and Prejudice`, urged people to donate for the good cause.

"People in India donate with compulsion, but you (in US) do it with compassion. Compassion wins over compulsion," said Kher who had earlier given a motivational speech at the Kellogg School of Management at the Northwestern University.

The actor is also involved with the Anupam Kher Foundation which also works for the education and care of street children.

Before Kher, Waheeda Rahman was the Goodwill Ambassador of Pratham for many years.

Pratham is working in 21 states in India. It constructs libraries, balwadis and undertakes programmes like `Read India`, `Gyanshala` and `Bachpan`.

The organisation`s CEO Chavan said that this year the Chicago chapter will raise around USD 100,000 while Pratham USA will raise about USD 3 million through fundraising events and foundation grants.