Mumbai "Highway" star Alia Bhatt says her filmmaker father Mahesh Bhatt advises the actress to use her popularity for the right causes. "My father says I should use my popularity in the right direction and not just restrict it to films. I have been in the industry for three years and I try and do things like this," Alia told reporters here at the launch of a short film "Girls Rising".
The film, supporting the cause of girls, is helmed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E Robbins. The 22-year-old "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" actress has learnt from her mother to help others.
"My mother used to pay for education of the daughters of sweeper, watchman and others. This is something I saw happening at home and I want to take it up when I run my own house," Alia said. She said through her film "Highway", they tried to portray how physical abuse happens at home.
"The cause that we tried to talk about is sometimes physical abuse happens in your own home, it is a harsh reality which we don't want to face. It was deeply disturbing as I got to play that character and to understand what a girl might go through in her own house," said Alia, who finds such incidents disappointing and shocking.
"I am happy I did the film. There are girls who told me that after watching the film they opened up about their experiences," she said. Alia is part of campaign "Girl Rising", through which she is trying to raise awareness about girl education.
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"We want girls to fly in the right direction and spirit and with the right heart. This will happen when people in our country understand that it is necessary for girls to study," she said.
"I am a 'girl rising' means that I want to stand up today, want to study and make a future for myself. I want to have my own dreams fulfilled and I want to take over the world. Why alone send my brother to school, what about me," she said.
The "Student of the Year" actress feels happy and honoured to be a part of this movement. She says it is good that people now want to make a change. "We as a country are growing and we want to reach great heights. We have come a long way. I am not here to say bad things about my country," Alia said.
"I love my country but there is a certain harsh truth about our country which we have to face and the nice part is we want to make the change. I am Alia Bhatt and I am a girl rising," she said.
Alia thinks women have good instincts and better tolerance level. "To secure and nurture your family there is some education required. That is why promoting education, specially girl education in our country is important," she said.
Alia launched 'Girl Rising: Woh Padhegi Woh Udegi', a short film which tells the stories of eight extraordinary girls from around the world. Wrestling champion Sangram Singh was also present at the event where a teaser of the film was shown.
Alia is the voice of one of the girls - Yasmin - in the film. The others who have lent their voices to the stories are Priyanka Chopra, Freida Pinto, Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Nandita Das, Sushmita Sen and Parineeti Chopra. The film has narration by Farhan Akhtar and legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan. It will be telecast on August 29 at 1.30 PM.