Operation Uttarakhand: Tigmanshu Dhulia launches relief endeavour

Mumbai, June 28 (IANS) Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia headed to Uttarakhand and launched an all-out fund-raising campaign, Bollywood being his first stopover for monetary assistance, to provide aid for victims of the rain and flood-hit areas.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands have lost everything since floods caused by torrential rains led to death and destruction nearly a fortnight ago.

Leaving behind the post-production work on his almost-complete project "Bullett Raja", he is in Uttarakhand for relief work.

Speaking from Dehradun, Dhulia said: "It's time to act now. People here in Uttarakhand don't need sympathetic tweets. They need to rebuild their towns and villages. They need funds."

"I believe people like (actor-filmmaker) Farhan Akhtar have expressed a desire to be of help. Very often our film folks don't know how to go about providing help in such situations. Then there is the other kind of celebrities who do it for publicity. I want genuinely-concerned people from the entertainment industry to join me in helping Uttarakhand."

While other socially-conscious filmmakers and actors are still talking about how they'd like to help the rain-ravaged victims of Uttarakhand, Dhulia has decided to bell the cat.

He will collect funds from Bollywood and outside to rebuild the region.

Dhulia said: "The situation here is worse than anything I imagined. I am from Uttarakhand. When I came to know about the devastation and destruction, I immediately headed home. I had no plan in my head. I just needed to be here with my people. Now that I am here, I can see how vast the destruction is and how much relief work is actually required."

The actual magnitude of the damages and loss would stare the locals in the face once the pilgrims are evacuated, he said.

"Right now, with all the evacuation work going on the electronic media is covering the ravaged region like an adventure saga. Once the evacuation is over, the media attention would shift to something more topical. That's when Uttarakhand would be left to look at its own bleak future."

The filmmaker disapproves of high-profile politicians dropping in to do their own thing in Uttarakhand.

"I feel all celebrities should stay away right now. Their presence only hampers relief work," he added.

The Hindi film industry seems to Dhuila like a good place to get monetary assistance for Uttarakhand. "A lot of people in our film industry want to help at the time of a crisis such as this. But they don't know how to go about it," said Dhulia.

At the 14th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Macau, Dhulia will personally speak to some of his colleagues to raise funds for Uttarakhand.

"I would rather talk about raising finances for Uttarakhand at IIFA. Bringing up my film would triviliase the issue," he said.

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