Actor Akshay Kumar’s love for the cause of Indian Armed Forces is well known by now. The website www.bharatkeveer.gov.in, launched in April by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a suggestion from the actor, saw a record windfall on Monday, when at a corporate event in Mumbai, a passionate appeal from Akshay Kumar got the CEO and corporate honchos to pledge around Rs 6.5 crores for the families of martyred soldiers.
The participants at the event, organised by Stock firm Motilal Oswal were moved, when Akshay Kumar, during an impromptu speech, told them about the website that allows a direct fund transfer between a donor and the next of kin of a slain paramilitary soldier on duty. “I just felt like talking about the bharatkeveer initiative because the entire audience comprised high profiled individuals with influence and resources. If they won’t come forward for the cause of our armed forced, who will?” said Akshay.
The actor started out by telling the audience that currently the website has details of 112 soldiers who have lost their lives. Their details stay on the site till the total amount of donation to their family does not reach 15 lakh rupees. “These martyrs belong to various states of India. I said if each corporate or CEO pledged to adopt martyrs of at least one state, we could raise enough funds to remove as many soldiers’ details from the side as possible. I started with volunteering to donate for all martyrs from Maharashtra,” says the 49-year-old Bollywood star. Soon, the donations started to pour in. While the hosts Motilal Oswal pledged to donate for all soldiers of Jammu and Kashmir presently listed on the site, Akshay’s close friend Vicky Oberoi chose Andhra Pradesh. Industrialist Puneet Dalmia offered support for martyrs from Assam, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Businessman Sameer Gehlaut chose Haryana, while film producer Prerna Arora from Kriarj Entertainment chose Himachal Pradesh. The makers of Kwality Milk pledged to donate for all soldiers from Rajasthan, while L&T announced a donation of 50 lakhs in the corpus of the website. “Within minutes, we raised close to 6.5 crores and were able to ensure that more than 60% of those listed on the website would get their target amount of help. I am overwhelmed at the response,” said Akshay.
The website bharatkeveer.gov.in was launched by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and has seen several government departments also pledging support towards the welfare of the families who have lost their breadwinner in insurgency operations in J&K or naxalites hit areas.