From counselling people dealing with the virus to setting up a 100-bed hospital in Nagpur; taking a flight to motivate doctors as well as nurses who are working on ground without rest… Bollywood actor Gurmeet Choudhary has risen as a Covid soldier.
“Nothing happens in a day, whatever comes your way has had the seed of it for long before it germinates,” is how Gurmeet describes his new path. Always the helpful one, in his friends and family circle, he lapped up the opportunity as people reached out to him seeking help. “Being an actor, one has this connect with masses. I have been just trying in whichever way possible. Even over calls; people are distressed. I having gone through it and sharing experiences is sometimes enough. And that works wonderfully well, as that saves hospital beds for critical patients.”
Doing his bit
With a lot more queries coming Gurmeet’s way, he has now set-up a team to assist as many people as possible. “It’s not always a victory. At times we lose lives before one can arrange for treatment, moments like that are very hard. But as we deal with the pandemic, every effort counts.”
With a team of young, dedicated doctors he has also set up a 100-bed hospital called Astha at Nagpur. Gurmeet recently travelled to motivate them, despite his close ones warning him not to venture out in this situation. “This is the least I can do for the doctors and nurses who are working round-the-clock. If my being there boosts their morale, I am up for it.” He is also in the process of opening an ultra-modern 1000-bed hospital in Patna as well as Lucknow.
Gurmeet has also recently tied up with an IAS coaching institute to take a batch free of cost, given that many are struggling financially. “Many don’t have the means to get coaching for this highly competitive exam, so I have joined hands with Empower IAS for it.”
Know his idols
Gurmeet has two figures as his idols – Karan from Mahabharata and former Indian President Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. “My father was in the Army and I grew up listening to stories of Karan from him. To put others before the self was something that really fascinated me.”
He also admires practical solutions envisaged by Dr Kalam. “Making India corruption-free is important. People are not dying of disease, but because life saving drugs that cost a few thousands are sold for Rs 9 or 11 lakhs per injection. Dr Kalam wanted young people to take charge and now is the time.”
For the future
Having dabbled in multiple genres, Gurmeet is enjoying his Bollywood innings. Next on his to-do list are films that are socially relevant. “Bollywood has a huge following not just in our country, but even when I travel internationally; people connect India to Bollywood. I want to harness this power and do films on social issues, which can bring real change.”
While he is keeping fit working out with a trainer online and eating healthy, he insists that we must use this time to prepare for post-Covid world. “Post-Covid era would present a new set of challenges.” He hopes we could all hold hands to navigate out of this. “While poor get provisions, it’s the middle class that suffers. It is not able to ask for either ration or financial help. If a few of us reach out and together adopt one family, and be their moral, financial, support, we would be able to tide through these tough times,” he says.