When asked what compelled him to launch his initiatives, Anand relays, “During the first week post the lockdown last year, I saw a large number of construction workers who wanted to go back home but had immense income constraints. At that point in time, their plight greatly impacted me and I decided that they should not go from one tough situation to another. I tried to make sure that while in Mumbai, they had enough food and all the daily essentials that they needed. There was also a particular family that I wouldn’t like to name, which suffered a lot. Their plight greatly impacted me and I decided that nobody should ever have to run around for basic amenities”.
Shedding light on his plan to reach out to help more people across the country, the filmmaker who has collaborated with Amitabh Bachchan on their upcoming film ‘Chehre‘, adds, “Our COVID relief effort is intended to be far-reaching and is meant for not just people in Mumbai or Maharashtra, but anybody who is in need. It is Mumbai centric effort because I’m based out of Mumbai but, they are open to every person who wants to avail of their facilities and resources. There is absolutely no discrimination on that front. Also, we are having conversations to extend the effort beyond Mumbai, especially in rural India, where I feel the pandemic is raging in a big way.”
Pointing out that he has himself gone through a lot of struggle and knows how hard it is to survive without help or support, Anand adds, “If I can do something for someone, I will do it. I am motivated by the desire to help whenever I see distress and there is a lot of it around right now. For me, the most important thing is to be grateful for the gift of life, friends, family, and for opportunities that we get to make a difference. To see suffering and not do anything is unfathomable to me. When I see people struggling for something as basic as a bed, medicines and oxygen, it breaks my heart. Every person should be able to enjoy the gift of life and if I have been blessed with resources, I must build a bigger table, share my blessings and ease the pain of someone who has little to fall back on”.