UNICEF conferred the prestigious ‘Celebrity Advocate’ status to popular film star, singer and Padma awardee Anuj Sharma, for promoting the rights of children in Chhattisgarh at an event here today. He is the first UNICEF ‘Celebrity Advocate’ from Chhattisgarh.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF in Chhattisgarh welcomed Anuj Sharma to the elite club of UNICEF ‘Celebrities advocates’ with a plaque and the letter of appointment. Other celebrity advocates of UNICEF in India include movie stars Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore and Ayushmann Khurrana.
Speaking on the occasion, Zachariah said that celebrities wield immense power to influence people and bring change in the society. “ UNICEF wants the support of Anuj Sharma to influence 10 key behaviours in family, to achieve better health, nutrition, education and protection of children in the state. We laud Anuj’s support to children and women during the COVID pandemic through his appeals and messages” Zachariah added.
Anuj Sharma said, “I am honoured with this recognition. I strongly believe that every child deserves a better start in life, and no child should be malnourished and lose life from preventable diseases. I would lend my support to all efforts for preventing malnutrition, anaemia, child deaths, child marriage, child labour and violence against children in Chhattisgarh. I applaud the efforts of the government to make the state malnutrition-free”.
Anuj interacted with the ‘Blue Brigade’ members and listened to their aspirations and views. The youth shared with the actor their efforts in ensuring learning, immunization and nutrition of children in villages and slums. The Blue Brigade is an innovative initiative of UNICEF in collaboration with NSS in Chhattisgarh, with over 50,000 members.
Sam Bandi, Communication officer of UNICEF said “ An icon of the youth, Anuj Sharma would be able to amplify the voice of the youth and adolescents in Chhattisgarh”.
Anuj Sharma is considered as the superstar of Chhattisgarhi film industry, which is also referred to as “Chhollywood”. He has completed 20 years in Chhattisgarhi cinema and has acted in more than 40 films in Chhattisgarhi, Sambalpuri, Jharkhandi, Bundelkhandi, Gujarati, and Bhojpuri languages.