Indian cinema’s biggest star Amitabh Bachchan, took time out to volunteer and browse around an Oxfam shop in support of the international aid agency, which is a charity partner to this year’s International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs).
Mr Bachchan, who is the ambassador of the IIFAs and has starred in more than 150 films, helped at the Oxfam shop in Westbourne Grove, London, on May 22, to launch a series of Oxfam fringe events in the lead up to the prestigious awards weekend in Yorkshire on June 7-9.
Mr Bachchan, who was named the Greatest Star of the Millennium in a BBC online poll, said it was an honour to help Oxfam because it fights poverty and suffering in more than 70 countries, including his home country of India.
He said: “Oxfam makes a great impact on people’s lives around the world with its work, providing emergency response and supporting long-term projects like health-care, education and training – ultimately improving the livelihoods of millions.
“Many people in India have benefited from Oxfam’s projects so it was important for me to see some of the fundraising efforts in the UK – and meet some of the volunteers who give up their time to support Oxfam’s life-saving work.
“As the ambassador of the IIFAs, which has been key to boosting the profile of Indian cinema around the world, I am delighted that we have been able to support Oxfam in the lead up to our awards weekend in Yorkshire, which promises to be an incredible event.”
More than 100 shops are taking on a Bollywood theme in the lead-up to IIFA awards ceremony. Oxfam campaigners and volunteers will be taking part in fringe events in Yorkshire and shops will have Bollywood-themed window
displays with South Asian clothing on sell and opportunities for people to find out more about volunteering. Oxfam will also be involved with the IFFAs celebrity cricket match in Headingley, Leeds, and will be represented
at the awards ceremony.
Oxfam director Barbara Stocking said: “Oxfam seized the opportunity to be part of the IIFA celebrations. We will be bringing Oxfam’s messages of change and celebration of life to the awards and show how we work with people from different ethnic backgrounds, including from South Asia, in
different ways. People get involved with Oxfam through shopping, donating, volunteering or joining our global campaigns, all to fight injustice and bring an end to extreme poverty.
“Oxfam welcomes people from across the world and from all different walks of life to join its vision for a just world and, because so many people share these values, events such as the IIFA awards open up excellent
opportunities for collaboration and action.”
IFFA director Sabbas Joseph said: “We have promoted the cream of Indian cinema so it has become a renowned global entity and we are looking forward to showcasing the talents of the Indian film industry at this year’s awards
in Yorkshire. We are proud of our partnership with Oxfam and, through this partnership, we hope to create a legacy.”
Other Bollywood stars who have also supported various Oxfam causes include actors Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson and Dame Helen Mirren, singers Chris Martin and Rabbi Shergill, and author Monica Ali