Sameera Reddy has a very caring heart and has been working hard for an organization called Dream Homes, which is a home for orphaned girls and destitutes.
Sameera said, “My mom helps me with my charitable work. We’ve been supporting these orphanages on our own. At first I didn’t want the media to be part of my work with these orphan girls. But when there was a case of molestation at the orphanage I had to seek media help.”
After Vijay Karande, secretary of the organization that runs the home, reported that an inmate molested one of the girls, the landlord evicted them on Independence Day.
In fact, Sameera was put into personal danger by working for this cause just last week. She and her sister were spending time with the 21 girls, when a mob of men carrying sticks barged into the house and started hurling insults and abuses at them. The police were called and fortunately no one was hurt. “I have been trying to raise funds to buy a house for these children, and what do I get? I have just managed to escape with the help of police. I am shaken and scared. I don’t know what to do,” Sameera said after the terrifying incident.
But the actress was not scared away by the incident. “I now have police protection. I’ve relocated the girls to a builder-friend’s home. But to have girls from the age of two to eleven thrown out of their home on Independence Day… what kind of an independence have we achieved for the country’s children and women?”
She is also very upset with the lack of response and help that is coming from members of the film industry. In a interview with IANS Sameera said, “The response from all over the country was overwhelming – corporate people, working-class, even domestic servants offered support. Middle class people were willing to dig into their pockets and give Rs.50 to help these kids. But I’ll be honest with you. No one from the film industry called me. Not a single Bollywood person, though I know so many of them so well. It’s strange.”
It is being reported that one person from the industry that did contact them was Feroz Abbas Khan, director of Gandhi, My Father.
Sameera added, “Random people are coming forward to give these homeless kids breakfast, clothes, but not from film industry. Last time I saw this happening was during the torrential rains in Mumbai. I’m so ashamed when the electronic medium asks names of people from the industry who came forward to help.”
Though Sameera’s acting career is going well with several releases coming up, her focus is on helping these kids. “I’ve just finished a comedy 123 with a new director Ashwini Dheer and Abbas-Mustan’s Race. I think Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladdin is stuck because of Sanjay Dutt’s incarceration. But right now I’m consumed by looking after the orphanage kids. It’s a bigger high than being applauded for my performance,” she said.
Adding that one of her greatest joys now is spending time with the girls. “These girls are so bright and beautiful. One of them, a green-eyed girl, will one day give Aishwarya Rai a run for her money.”
We applaud Sameera for her work for this cause and wish her success in finding a safe and beautiful place for these girls to grow, play and live happily.