Mumbai, March 1 (IANS) Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty says he was inspired to start his own NGO as he was inundated with requests for financial help after he won the Academy Award.
'Over the last one year, so many things happened in my life. I received a huge number of letters from across the country, seeking financial help because many people thought that A.R. Rahman and I have won billions of rupees along with the Oscar, which was false because Oscar awards don't have prize money attached to it,' Pookutty told IANS.
'I thought may be this is my time to give it back to society, however little I can,' he said.
The Resul Pookutty Foundation focuses on the health needs of the underprivileged and has tied up with a hospital in Kochi.
Asked about the aim of his foundation, he said: 'Resul Pookutty Foundation has initiated a huge health programme along with Lakshmi hospital in Kerala. We are giving 300 free surgeries, including open heart surgeries.'
The project was launched Feb 7 and Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan donated Rs.11 lakh to the foundation.
'It is to my surprise that Mr.Bachchan donated that money and I am very thankful to him,' said Pookutty, who won an Oscar for his work in 'Slumdog Millionnaire'.
Bachchan is closely linked to the Resul Pookutty IIFA Foundation Scholarship for economically backward students as well.
'It actually started off with a very personal conversation with Mr. Bachchan, when he once came to felicitate me...You know they wanted to felicitate me at IIFA awards; so I suggested if they can start a scholarship in my honour and he readily agreed. And he initiated with IIFA to launch the Resul Pookutty IIFA Foundation Scholarship for economically backward students.
'We are beginning to give this scholarship in the 2010 IIFA edition...The film industry has given me love, affection and freedom to do what I wanted to do. It is my responsibility as an Indian to give back to the industry, in whatever little way I can,' Pookutty said.
(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)