'I am not doing what I am to make a name for myself.'
'I am doing what every Indian should be doing right now.'
It is understandable when trolls attack Sonu Sood's relentless efforts to help those affected by COVID-19.
The actor rightly ignores most of those questioning his noble work.
But when you have a district magistrate refuting Sonu's philanthropy, it's time for a response.
This is what happened when his team helped a needy man get a hospital bed in Odhisha.
The district magistrate in the Ganjam district in Odhisha challenged Sonu's endeavour by tweeting, 'We don't received (sic.) any communication from @SoodFoundation or @SonuSood. Requested patient is in Home isolation and stable. No bed issues @BrahmapurCorp is monitoring it. @CMO_Odish.'
Sonu responded with a tweet: 'Sir, We never claimed that we approached you, it's the needy who approached us and we arranged the bed for him, attached are the chats for your reference. Ur office is doing a great job & u can double check that we had helped him too. Have DM you his contact details. Jai hind.'
Subhash K Jha spoke to Sonu Sood on why he thought it necessary to respond to this particular tweet and the actor explains, "The denial (of the effort made to get a hospital bed for the Ganjam citizen) came from a responsible government officer. It was therefore something I had to take seriously. I did not want any miscommunication or any misunderstanding with the administration.
"I am sure they are doing their utmost to help the people of their district. However, this person did approach us with an SOS for a hospital bed. And we did arrange it but not to be one-up on the administration."
Sonu feels the human ego should be the last consideration in this battle to defeat COVID.
"We are all this together. Whether the helping hand comes from the administration or an individual Indian citizen like me, it is all part of the same endeavour to help the distressed during these critical times. This is no occasion for one-upmanship, Maine kiya, nahin maine kiya... all this is meaningless right now," he says.
Sonu has no intentions of explaining his behavior in future.
"Those who think I am a fraud are welcome to think so. I am not doing what I am to make a name for myself. I am doing what every Indian should be doing right now," he says.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com