Kolkata, 15 October 2020: Recognising India’s unsung selfless heroes who have gone out of their way to help those in need during the COVID19 pandemic, the United Nations in India and NITI Aayog, in partnership with Discovery channel, are launching #BharatKeMahaveer. The campaign will celebrate Indians who have shown extraordinary kindness – extending a helping hand to the vulnerable, going that extra mile – selflessly and without any expectation.
As part of the campaign, Bharat Ke Mahaveer, a three-part series will air on Discovery Channel to celebrate the actions by 12 champions from across India who, through their exemplary actions have been spreading a ray of hope, coming together in strength and solidarity. The series will be co-hosted by the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Dia Mirza and actor Sonu Sood, who was recently conferred the ‘Special Humanitarian Action Award’ by the Government of Punjab for his humanitarian efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking about the initiative, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said, “Throughout this global crisis, we have seen countless stories of individuals across the country who have gone beyond their call of duty. Even in the Aspirational Districts, despite facing greater developmental challenges, people came forward in a tremendous display of humanity. We are happy to have come together with Discovery and the UN in India for this initiative to recognize these stories”.
Bharat Ke Mahaveer celebrates luminous stories of solidarity – where, whether through food distribution, providing medical care, donating their life savings or feeding a stray animal – India – of all ages, and today still – has shown a strong sense of togetherness in times of crisis.
Renata Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator in India said, “As COVID-19 continues to upend our lives, these unsung heroes are an inspiration and solace to us all. They remind us that it is only working together, with kindness and compassion, that we can succeed – a truth that underpins the message of United Nations, especially during this 75th year since our founding. Through Bharat Ke Mahaveer, we wish to honour those individuals, who despite all odds, have gone out of their way to show extraordinary selfless kindness to help those in need. They rekindle our faith in humanity and our hope for a better future. They make us proud, here in India and globally.”
Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery Communications India, said, “Bharat Ke Mahaveer is not just a TV show – it is reflection of India’s gratitude to so many of the unsung heroes who became a shining beacon of hope and inspiration. We are proud to partner NITI Aayog and UN India in this prestigious project.”
Bharat ke Mahaveer co-host and UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocate Dia Mirza said, “Over the past few months, India has shown the world that when people come together, they can overcome any adversity. Instead of self-interest, we have seen an outpouring of solidarity during the pandemic. People are banding together to spread love, compassion and positivity through their actions, thereby ensuring that the most vulnerable are not left behind. I am proud to call myself an Indian and proud to be part of this excellent initiative.”
“The recent time has been painful for humanity. During this time, some individuals with extra-ordinary sense of empathy for fellow citizens gave away everything they had,” said Sonu Sood, who is also the face of the campaign, along with Dia Mirza. “The almighty has been benevolent to me, and has given me means to help others, and I tried in my small way, but some of the stories I have read are of individuals with limited means but who with their strong will – moved mountains. The world will know more about these heroes through Bharat Ke Mahaveer.”