In 2008, People (India) magazine named him the “Sexiest Man Alive”. He was 41 then. This year, he won the National Award for his performance in Bollywood blockbusters Rustom and Airlift. But Akshay Kumar is not just a handsome actor who woos women and men with his looks and stunts; he is a generous contributor to humanity too. A highly organised man, Akshay believes in a disciplined life. He parties less and exercises more; he works hard but doesn’t over work; he makes money and doesn’t hide it from the government. And above all this, he is one among the few successful actors of Hindi cinema, who not only earns in crores but also believes in donating a fair share of his earning for the welfare of the needy.
Rajiv Bhatia alias Akshay Kumar, the action hero, was born in Amritsar, Punjab, and brought up in Chandni Chowk, Delhi and Koliwada, Mumbai. The Dilli 6 boy dropped out of college to undergo training in martial art from Bangkok. He also worked as a waiter in Thailand before coming back to Mumbai and taking up modelling assignments. Acting was in his mind since childhood and it eventually happened. Producer Pramod Chakravarthy signed him for the movie Deedar and thus started his life as an actor.
However, the first film of his to release was Saugandh. Kumar is a popular actor who has touched the hearts of millions of Indians through his powerful acting skills and action sequences. He was given the Screen Award for Best Actor (Popular Choice) for his performance in Singh Is Kinng in 2008 and was nominated for Asian Film Award for Best Actor in 2009. He has won the Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Male in the years 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016. In 2009, the actor was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. He has also been awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Law in recognition of his contribution to the cinema of India by the University of Windsor. In 2011, The Asian Awards has honoured Kumar for his outstanding achievement in Indian cinema. In 2004, he was given the Rajiv Gandhi Award for his achievements in Bollywood, and in 2009 the IIFA-FICCI Frames conferred on him the Most Powerful Entertainer of the Decade Award.
Also called the action king of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar has time and again displayed the good samaritan in him. Charity begins at home and Kumar’s concern for the future of people he works with shows it. He expresses concern for the lives of stuntmen, stuntwomen and the future of their families and gives monetary aid to ailing seniors and friends in the industry. The actor has devised an insurance scheme that secures the future of 380 stuntmen and stuntwomen with the help of wellknown heart surgeon Dr Ramakanta Panda.
But that’s not all. Like a true hero, he has also lent support to poor farmers and families of the Indian armed forces who gave up their life fighting against infiltrators and terrorists. In 2015, Kumar donated Rs 90 lakh to drought hit farmers in Maharashtra Rs 50 lakh to aid drought-affected people through the Maharashtra government’s Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan. Very recently, the actor donated Rs 9 lakh each to the families of the 12 CRPF personnel who were killed in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh. He donated Rs 1.8 crore in total.
Besides huge financial contribution, the actor also has voiced his opinion on the need for supporting the families of martyred soldiers. On the eve of 68th Republic Day, he sent a heart-warming message for the Indian armed forces, through a video where he proposed developing a website or a mobile application, which will help people to directly donate money in the bank accounts of the martyr’s families. The website Bharat ke Veer: Indian Bravehearts thus came up.
The Khiladi actor who abides by the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ rule is one of the fittest actors of India who performs his own stunts. He is compared with the international star Jackie Chan. The actor promotes healthy living and was a part of the diabetes awareness campaign. He also supported the UN’s Global Goals campaign advocating the importance of Global Goal No 3 Good Health and Well-Being and also the Max Bupa Walk for Health, which aims to inspire thousands of families to walk more to enhance their overall health and well-being. The actor is doing his bit to create awareness about cleanliness too.
His film, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (2017) highlights the need for toilets in the country. While working on the project, he dug pits for building toilets in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. What more can we expect from a busy actor like him?