It has been a night of goodness and glitz, and the stars have shone bright over the felicitation night for Beautiful Indians, presented by Mamaearth x Healthntrends. The event marked the culmination of a nationwide hunt for goodness ambassadors among people in general, corporate, content creators, celebrities and our special awardees who shone the brightest of all.
Here then are awardees from the entertainment space who wowed us all with their initiatives for goodness and their commitment to social causes…
With Prajakta Koli’s videos being just a click away, YouTube India never has a dull day!
The Marathi mulgi has earned every one of her 6 million followers through relentless hard work, and is now using her reach to make the world a better place.
From being the girl who made comedy videos on YouTube simply because her now business partner Sudeep Lahiri thought she had a knack for it, to becoming India’s most successful female YouTuber with a followership of 6 million and counting – Prajakta’s story is what dreams are made of. Yet, she’s not just a dreamer, but a doer – who understands the power of her voice and puts it to good use. For YouTube’s Creators For Change initiative, Prajakta made a music video ‘Shameless’ to take a stand against the unrealistic beauty standards that Indian women are subjected to, and ‘No Offence’ – which slammed trollers spreading hate on social media. As part of the same initiative, she also came out with a documentary on girls’ education that won her a chance to interact with Michelle Obama and a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special.
Prajakta has joined hands with the Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) to further their efforts in providing education for underprivileged children in rural India, and her latest achievement — becoming UNDP India’s first Youth Climate Champion — proves that she is truly a force to reckon with!
THE FEARLESS ARTISTE AWARD
The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter gives back to society in unique ways.
As a South Indian girl who grew up in the States, Raja Kumari is true to her roots. She believes in wearing her ethnicity with pride and giving back to the people who made her who she is.
Raja Kumari has made her Indianness her X-factor in an increasingly westernised world. Not only is she using her music to put India’s unique culture on the map, but also for the greater good of society. She is a strong advocate for girls’ education, especially in the field of arts, realising that the support she received in her formative years to pursue Indian classical dance helped her form a niche.
Raja Kumari has set up a hospital in Bengaluru, and a meditation centre in Hyderabad for the Vegesna Foundation – a school for differently-abled children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she did a livestream for The MusiCares Foundation and The Amy Winehouse Foundation to raise funds for mental health awareness.
Her philanthropic work has won Raja Kumari recognition from the Foundation of Indian Philosophy and Culture.
THE VOICE OF A GENERATION
The singer uses his voice not just to sing beautifully, but also to drive social change.
When he’s not belting out chartbusters in Bollywood, singer Armaan Malik keeps himself busy helping the less fortunate. He did a Facebook live stream to give impetus to HelpAge India’s fundraiser for senior citizens in our country who were struggling medically, mentally or monetarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also performed in a line-up of 27 popular artistes on Instagram for an at-home concert called #LiveInTheLivingRoom that raised funds for a plethora of charities, including Hemkunt Foundation, Give India, and United Singers Charitable Trust. He was also happy to lend his voice to a similar initiative called ‘The Care Concert’, started by T-series and Red FM, to urge people to donate to the PM Care Funds.
The rise in uncensored negativity on social media during the lockdown made Armaan pledge to leave a positive digital footprint behind. He vowed to be real with his fans and followers, and create a safe online space for them to talk about the good and bad stuff going on in their lives, without fear of judgement.
THE STANDOUT STAR OF THE YEAR
The actor goes with unique roles and unusual ways to help others.
From her empathetic portrayal of a trans woman in ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ to her efforts towards raising COVID relief funds, Vaani Kapoor is inspiring change in society.
Vaani is a woman who walks the talk. Not only does she give a voice to raw and real characters like Maanvi in ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ – a trans woman who’s shunned by society for coming out of the closet – but also goes out of her way to help marginalised communities in the real world. She’s tied up with Relief Projects India, a charitable trust that works towards preventing female infanticide and rescuing abandoned baby girls in India.
She also came up with the ingenious idea of going on a virtual date with her fans during the lockdown, so as to raise funds for the Give India Foundation and provide nutritious and well-balanced meals to daily wage workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
THE YOUTH ICON OF THE YEAR
She won hearts across the globe not just with her looks, but also with her commitment to goodness.
The epitome of beauty and grace, Manushi Chhillar won us over when she brought home the Miss World crown in 2017 after a long wait of 17 years. But the diva also made a place in our hearts with her Beauty with a Purpose project campaign titled ‘Project Shakti’. The initiative works to educate women about menstrual hygiene and management through the construction of adequate sanitation facilities and quick access to feminine hygiene products. On the menu are also plans to set up manufacturing units for sanitary pads, and to develop a sustainable system for the manufacturing, selling and buying of feminine hygiene products.
Early on, Manushi visited around 20 villages for Project Shakti and interacted with over 5,000 women to educate them. While the COVID-19 pandemic stalled her work, she has elaborate plans to expand the initiative and reach a greater number of women in more cities across India.
Manushi also wants to use her equity as an actor to be associated with more causes and to dedicate herself towards bringing attention to initiatives related to children and their education. She believes that the way we protect the future generation will lay the foundations for how the world will shape up.
THE TRAILBLAZING ARTISTE OF THE YEAR
The talented actor is associated with various social causes to bring about a positive change.
An agent of social change through the movies she chooses and the roles she portrays, Taapsee Pannu is also associated with a number of social causes, using her voice for the betterment of the underserved sections of society. She has been working with NGOs that work for rape victims and that support the education of the girl child. In fact, Taapsee has been sponsoring close to 20 girl children for some years now; the empowerment of girls is an issue that she strongly feels about. In 2019, she raised awareness about children’s health and gender parity on Twitter with the hashtag #WhyTheGap.
During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taapsee stepped up to help fans and followers by amplifying their requests for various resources and help. She had also made contributions to Mission Oxygen, Khalsa Aid and Hemkunt Foundation for critical medical supplies. She also selflessly offered to donate her platelets to an elderly woman in need.
Taapsee believes that, as an outsider in Bollywood, the audience has made her the star she is, and that it is her duty and privilege to give back in their time of need.
THE SHOWMAN OF THE GENERATION
The quirky and energetic superstar has always been vocal about the issues that the deaf community in our country faces.
Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh has always raised his voice to bring to the fore issues faced by the deaf community in India. Notably, the actor has been rooting for Indian Sign Language (ISL) to be declared as the 23rd official language of the country, and he has also signed a petition to create awareness about the same.
Ranveer believes that inclusivity leads to accessibility, and he has been all praise for the steps taken by the authorities to make this possible. He believes the availability of NCERT textbooks in ISL, which ensures that no hearing-impaired child is left without access to educational resources, is a wonderful step in this direction.
Ranveer also has an independent record label named IncInk, through which he has released several sign language music videos, something few other record labels have done. He had been quoted as saying that while the authorities did a commendable job by equalising the playing field for 70 lakh+ citizens of the deaf community, he will continue to be the loudspeaker for them till their basic rights are met and carry on his personal endeavours through IncInk.
DISRUPTOR OF THE YEAR
From choosing films with a social message to actively supporting social causes that are close to his heart, the actor makes good use of his celebrity status.
Ayushmann Khurrana made a rather unusual debut in Bollywood. Unlike other leading men, he was comfortable with his characters showing their imperfections and insecurities on screen – because that’s how people are in real life. From playing a sperm donor to a balding man and from essaying a closeted gay man to a newlywed with erectile dysfunction, the award-winning actor became the voice of the common man. He proved that entertainment and education can go hand in hand.
Even off-screen, Ayushmann has extended his support to several social causes. When COVID-19 was at its peak last year, he, along with his wife Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, generously donated to the Maharashtra CM Relief Fund and appealed to his fans and followers to continue helping one another during the hour of crisis. He also helped Gulmeher, a women’s collective of 200 waste-pickers in New Delhi, support their families’ financial needs during the pandemic.
Ayushmann has joined hands with UNICEF and the Ministry of Women and Child Development to speak up against the sexual abuse of minors, and make people aware of the Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Act (POSCO Act).