Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji attended a charity dinner held by the British Asian Trust earlier today in the English capital.
The event was also attended by The Prince Of Wales, who is the charity’s president, and The Duchess Of Cornwall along with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi; music and television producer, Simon Cowell and X-Factor Judge, Louis Walsh among many others.
This year’s event was in support of The British Asian Trust’s work in empowering disadvantaged people in South Asia to transform their lives. This year’s event also marked the launch of a new anti-trafficking fund for India to build on work which the British Asian Trust has already been doing to support vulnerable girls affected by violence and abuse.
Rani Mukerji also addressed the guests at the event and spoke about child trafficking, something the Mardaani actress feels strongly about.
Speaking to press at the event, Rani said, “Through my film Mardaani, child trafficking became a national focus in my country [India]. These are the little steps towards making an effort.”
In her speech she said,
“Your Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall my lords ladies and gentlemen. It is a great privilege and honour for me to be invited here this evening. We are gathered here today because of concern for human trafficking. A horrific practice which sadly is happening around us all too often. Recently I have played a police officer in a film called Mardaani. The film focussed on child trafficking. While preparing for my role I researched and discovered how pervasive and pernicious this practice is.
I would like to share with you all certain statistics given by the crime branch bureau India and the National Human Rights Commission India.
-Every 8 mins a girl goes missing in india.
-Nearly 40000 children are abducted every year out of which 11000 remain untraced. 2.2 million children are sold every year globally.
I am pleased to hear that in England the modern day slavery bill will soon be law. The new act will close many lacunae in the law and provide more rights for victims of exploitation. Nevertheless while consolidation of the law is to be applauded it is part of a much larger picture. We should not be complacent and each one of us should be more vigilant and take personal responsibility to stop this crime.
I stand here before you today committed to the eradication of human trafficking. My film Mardaani was my first step in this direction. I know that this journey is going to be a long and arduous one but feel hopeful that together with people like you and many others in my country and around the world we shall make a difference.”
Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, complimented Rani on her performance in the film and congratulated the makers who had the courage to back s project like this. He was delighted to meet her and share his thoughts on the film and on the subject of trafficking. “In my view, Mardaani is the first Indian film that tries to understand and effectively highlight the heinous issue of girl child trafficking. I compliment the filmmakers especially Rani Mukerji for a very convincing portrayal of her character as a police officer fighting this malice. We, at Bachpan Bachao Andolan had declared a holiday and taken the entire team to watch the film and everyone was extremely inspired by her act. ” he added that his entire team of workers had taken a day off for the first time together to watch the film and felt extremely motivated and identified with Shivani’s character and felt she was one of them fighting tirelessly towards saving the victims. Rani was also very happy and honoured to meet Kailash and has pledged to give her full support to help eradicate this evil. She was extremely delighted to know from him what impact the film had on him and his fellow workers.