Thousands of migrants workers in India have reached their hometowns safely, thanks to the magnanimous efforts of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who arranged food, transport and even opened the doors of his hotel in Mumbai to shelter frontline workers.
The actor, who has opened a hotline for people stranded due to the lockdown, is quick to respond to messages posted on his social media account. “I now have a toll free number fixed for people to call me and I’ve got a team helping me out,” Sood told City Times.
Sood has a deep connection with the UAE, having visited our shores for various reasons in the past – be it shooting for a film or to take part in a health/fitness initiative or for a break. In a video message he posted earlier in March, the actor had appealed to residents in the UAE urging them to stay home safe. “Take care of yourself. We are living in difficult times. The UAE Government is doing its best to take care of you. Stay home, stay safe and I’m sure we’ll overcome these difficult times,” was Sood’s message on video.
The actor has often referred to Dubai as his second home. “I have started some of the best things in my life in this city, like shooting for Ali F. Mostafa’s City of Life. It was a special film for me. I lived in Dubai for nearly a month when I was shooting for Farah Khan’s Happy New Year. Then, after that, I spent nearly a month and a half in Dubai shooting with Jackie Chan for Kung Fu Yoga. So I can say that some of my blockbuster movies were shot in this city. It is like my work place for me. I have a lot of friends here and I love the shopping options here. Moreover, Dubai is just a few hours away from India and I always feel that I’m in my own space here. I believe that Dubai is one of the most special places for me,” Sood had told City Times in an interview during his last visit to the city.
Seeing Sood’s close bond with the city, some Indian expats from the UAE have reached out to the actor seeking his help to reach their respective hometowns. Expats have been appealing to the actor on his official social media account.
Tweets for Sonu from the UAE:
“Sir, I am stuck in Dubai, UAE. I am not asking you to help. I just wanna let you know here in dubai everyone knows your name because of your great initaitive. I just wanna say Thankyou and would love to touch your feet if we ever meet,” posted Abhishek Saxena.
” Dear Sir many people from Gujarat and Maharashtra stuck here in Dubai, UAE many lost jobs and its difficult to manage here for them can you pls help or try to arrange flights from Dubai to Ahmedabad/Mumbai. We will be highly appreciate for your support,” wrote Kukesh Kalwani.
” I am stranded student in UAE and my course is also completed. I am from Mumbai. I have not received any call for repartriation. I want to come back home.” Aalisha Vora appealed.
“Sir big big respect and lots of love and courage from Dubai UAE as i keep reading how you are helping everyone. God give you more strength and power,” posted Manoj Kumar.