July 11, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen loves children. The actor, along with the finalists of I Am She beauty pageant, was recently seen having a good time with the kids of Sunil and Mana Shetty’s NGO Save The Children India at Bandra in Mumbai. Sreya Basu catches up with the ex-Miss Universe
What made you visit Save the Children NGO?
There are so many hearing, speech or intellectually impaired children in India who are studying hard with hearing aids and other devices. So it (Save The Children India) is giving hope and a life which a lot of us can only dream to do. But they actually do it. We are really privileged that we were allowed to spend some time with the kids.
What is the most memorable part of your visit to the NGO?
I have made lots of lovely boyfriends (the kids at the NGO), who have been extremely affectionate. Don’t miss this part. They just all clung to me. (Laughs)
Is it mandatory for I Am She finalists to do charity works?
It was important for us as all our three winners (of I Am She) work on different causes. Last year also, they achieved a lot of targets, we raised funds for our organizations. I am happy that this year too my girls are getting chance to interact with people and contribute towards the society. When they will win (the crown) this year, then for the next one year, they will have a target to raise up to Rs 10 lakh each fro corporates and events so that the money can go to an organization through I Am Foundation. So every year we do our homework to find out which organization is really working well in our country; who will actually spend the money on the welfare of the society.
We are teaching the finalists of I Am She that you can’t live alone in this world. You have to see everything in a big canvas so that they can realize that they are a small member of such a big country and a bigger world. So unless you make a difference in the world, you won’t be a productive citizen of a country or world.
Do you remember the first time you visited an NGO?
Seventeen years back when for the first time I came to such an organization was in South America…in Colombia. There the children couldn’t speak my language and nor I could speak their lingo. But still I made so many friends there that even today, though the kids have grown up now, they remember me as ‘Sush’. So I believe that once you make an impression in someone’s life, it lasts a long way.
You are also associated with Salman Khan’s NGO Being Human…
I have a long relationship with Being Human, not just because it’s Salman Khan’s organization (as you have seen, we have always been part of any fund-raising events organized by it). But for me, it’s anybody who does good work, I will support them and would like to do through I Am Foundation.
You seem to go along with kids really well…
Children are the loveliest gifts of nature. We always complain that we don’t have this or don’t have that, but special children teach us either you mourn your defects and what’s lacking or celebrate the gifts that God has bestowed upon you.
As for me, I am used to carrying two babies on my lap. Aadat par jati hai. For any mother, carrying a kid on her lap is a natural and most beautiful posture.