There will be a toilet for every 2km in all cities across the state soon, the chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis announced at a conclave recently. The announcement came after actor Akshay Kumar pointed out at the Transform Maharashtra Conclave that the lack of toilets in the state was affecting several citizens, especially women. “Earlier, phone booths were built at fixed distances across the state. We could similarly have ‘toilet booths’ so people won’t have to suffer anymore,” the actor said, while also suggesting a mobile application to help people locate the nearest toilet.
Incidentally, Akshay’ won the National Award for “Rustom” is the brain behind the making of a film interestingly titled “Toilet- Ek Prem Katha”. He co-produces the feature film with Neeraj Pandey, the maker of films like “A Wednesday” and “Special 26”, and is also the leading man with Bhumi Pednekar (“Dum Laga Ke Haisha”). Actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan are also taking active interest in promoting the need for having Swachch Sauchalayas (clean toilets) all over the country.
Earlier this month, Akshay Kumar launched a website, “Bharat Ke Veer” with the help of the Indian government. The website helps people donate money directly to the families of martyred armed forces personnel. Now reports suggest that within a few hours of 25 Central Reserve Police Force personnel getting martyred in a Naxalite ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district (on April 24), donations started coming in huge numbers for the deceased soldiers’ families.
“It’s heart-warming to see such a great response from people” says an insider. Apparently, within in 15 days (after the launch of the website), over 4.5 lakh people visited the portal. “It’s great that those who want to make a donation have a platform to do the same. It’s one of its kind systems in the entire world”, says a source.
Akshay has also been working for a better life for fighters in films and has now reached a very crucial point in his attempt when an initiative spearheaded by him and cardiac surgeon Dr. Ramakanta Panda, will soon see stuntmen and women, over 380 of them being insured.
Akshay Kumar, popularly known as the action hero, is himself famous for performing many stunts of his own. Having a martial arts background, he is no stranger to the risks involved in performing these stunts. Dr. Panda, a recognised cardiac surgeon who has performed an operation on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Akshay has introduced this first-of-its-kind insurance scheme for the stunt artists, after working on it for the past five months.
In a statement Akshay said, “I am a stuntman first and then an actor. I believe that my stunts and action sequences are the reason why I have come so far in this industry, and the credit goes to the stunt community and action choreographers. Finally, insurance will be available for those who risk their lives to entertain us. Until now, there have been no such insurance schemes for stunt artists across any film industry in the world”.

The general secretary of the Movie Stunt Artist Association, Ejaz Gulab, said that Akshay Kumar has "made the impossible possible somehow". He said, “Over the years, we had approached a number of producers and insurance companies, but they didn’t agree to provide insurance to us.  It was very demoralising, but we don’t know what magic wand Akshayji has used. We can’t thank him enough, as it has come as great news for us”.

The stunt artists will be covered for Rs 6 lakh in around 4,000 hospitals through a cashless system, as per the insurance. They will receive reimbursements in the hospitals which are not covered under this network. In case of death, the nominee selected by the stunt artist will be given Rs 10 lakh. This financial aid comes as the much needed change, keeping in mind the risks that the stunt artists take to perform these stunts”. “Thousands of fighters and those involved in the dangerous profession of performing stunts will benefit by this scheme and we all and even the generations of stunt men will be grateful to Akshay Kumar for his constant efforts to make this a reality”, the nationally and internationally renowned stunt co-ordinator Sham Kaushal said.


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