Mumbai: Whether it is standing up for the rights of stuntmen in the Indian film industry or training girls for self-defence, supporting the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' or narrating the story of a man who took up the cause of menstrual hygiene -- National Award-winning actor Akshay Kumar has dabbled in it all. He says his social work is a result of compassion towards humanity.
"I am really fortunate that God has given me fame, money and a celebrity status, and many youngsters get influenced by what I do. So I think my whole idea of standing for any cause is to utilise the power in a responsible manner. My social work comes from pure compassion. I talk about issues that I feel for," Akshay told IANS here.
Once known as the poster boy of action dramas in Bollywood, over the past few years Akshay has associated himself with films with patriotic themes -- like "Airlift" and "Rustom" -- and those with a social message, like "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" and "Pad Man". While "Toilet..." was about the need of toilets, "Pad Man" was aimed at spreading awareness on menstrual hygiene -- both hardly spoken about subjects.
He says though he can make a lot of money from films, he also feels responsible to help in building the society.
"If I want, I can make a 'Singh Is Kinng' part 2... I know I have an audience for that. I know I can make millions of money from such a film. Not that I am not interested... But as a celebrity, I should be changing one thought. I should be influencing youngsters to contribute to a good cause. That is how we can build a society. I am doing it in my way," he said with a smile.
The actor, 50, has become the brand ambassador of the New India Conclave 2018, which will recognise rural achievers of the country.
He says change will be visible in the society when people start focussing more on solutions than problems.
"What is the point of endlessly talking about our problems? We know what is the issue that our society is going through. The ideal thing would be find out the root cause and try to resolve them.
"The best part about the New India Conclave is that we are creating a platform where people, who resolve some problems in their living area, will share their story... So that others can follow that same idea to resolve the same issue -- water, greenery and pollution.
"This conclave intends to celebrate the ideas, success stories and implement ideas. That is how we can redevelop the bonding and support among each state," he added.
So what is the issue that he feels should be addressed as a priority?
"I think farmer's issues -- their problems, lifestyle, income. There should be a solution to that."
The New India Conclave is scheduled to take place in July in New Delhi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers of various states.