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By: Harneet Singh (Screen Weekly), IndiaFM
Monday, November 19, 2007
The recent hullabaloo surrounding Salman Khan's involvement in the Worli accident seems straight out of a day in the actor's tumultuous life.
Recently B-Town was in tizzy when a city tabloid reported that the car in which the actor was travelling collided with a motorcycle injuring a cop.
Even though Salman denied the incident outright much ink and airtime was spent on the issue. "I was driving back from town after pack up when I saw a huge crowd gathered at Worli junction. I asked around and found out that there had been an accident. I got out to see if anybody needed help. That was all," he says.
The latest incident notwithstanding, the actor is committed to philanthropy. Currently, he is in the process of setting up the website for his charitable trust, Being Human Foundation. The idea is to make money for charity from the website. "We'll be selling a lot of stuff like bracelets signed by me, my painting, sketches, the clothes that I've worn in my films. We'll put it all for sale and the proceeds will go for charity," he says.
Over the years, Salman has built a Good Samaritan reputation. He's worked extensively for cancer and AIDS patients. The actor admits that charity is a huge part of his life. "I'll do films idhar udhar but charity will be my priority. I've got so much and I want to give back something," he says.
The actor jokes that when he started out his career as a professional actor, his only ambition was to "have Rs 10 lakhs in my bank account." Now he wants to build a smooth running NGO that will take care of people who can't afford medical care. "It's not easy for a single person to do all this because the financial implications are huge so we will need the support of all my fans," he states.
And to make that happen the actor has lined up a host of activities. First up, is an annual award function to felicitate all those who will contribute to the Being Human Foundation. Salman's foundation is soon kick starting a program called 1 One wherein every day Re 1 will be deducted from a person's salary to get Rs 365 a year from one person.
"In this way we'll build a bank of people and use the collected funds to cure cancer patients. Here too the guarantee is that if a person who has donated money needs medical help and is unable to help himself then we'll give him the money from the 1 One funds," he elaborates.
The actor's big dream is to open hospitals, pharmacy companies and health care units. But Salman is very clear that he wants to do everything with complete transparency. "I've been conned a lot in the past and I don't want to be conned again," he rues. So if anybody comes to his foundation for medical or financial assistance then they have to be prepared for a thorough background search. The person's address will be verified and the doctors who serve in the Being Human Foundation will check the status of the illness.
In trademark Salman style he has the last word, "Before you ask me, I'm not doing all this to get into politics. I'm doing this because this is what I do."