And they call it Puppy Love... Bol­ly­wood stars sav­ing an­i­mals.

They’re Bol­ly­wood’s finest but the likes of Sal­man and Aamir Khanare as de­voted to look­ing af­ter an­i­mals as they are to their ca­reers. They ex­plain why they all have...

Friday - - Contents -

In the dark of the night, while the up­mar­ket neigh­bour­hood of Ban­dra, West Mumbai, par­ties be­hind closed doors, one res­i­dent stealth­ily drives around in search of stray dogs and cats, hop­ing to not just give them a de­cent meal but a whole lot of love and care, too.

The wag­ging tails and the con­tented purrs from these an­i­mals clearly show they love the friendly hand that is there to feed them and pro­vide them with med­i­cal care. They don’t care much for the man’s swanky car or his su­per­star aura. For he is none other than Sal­man Khan, one of In­dia’s big­gest Bol­ly­wood stars.

Bet­ter known for the mind­bog­gling amount his movies make at the box of­fice, Sal­man is said to be a huge an­i­mal lover, a fact that has not blipped on the me­dia’s radar too of­ten.

Those who know the man be­hind the image talk about how Sal­man – along with his fa­ther, noted writer Salim Khan – reg­u­larly drives around Ban­dra to help ne­glected an­i­mals, even some­times adopt­ing them and giv­ing them shel­ter at his sprawl­ing farm­house in Pan­vel, just out­side Mumbai, where he plans on build­ing an an­i­mal res­cue shel­ter for stray

dogs. “They are my life and I am pas­sion­ate about them,” he says when asked about his Neapoli­tan mas­tiff named Mylove; Veer, a French mas­tiff; Saint, a Saint Bernard and a Labrador called Mowgli.

“While I do not hu­man­ise them, I dis­like re­fer­ring to them as dogs or my pets. This is be­cause they are a part of me, my fam­ily and they share my ev­ery joy and sor­row. They un­der­stand me com­pletely and there is such a big bond, such a rap­port that I share with them, that it moves me be­yond words. In fact, when Mylove had a lit­ter two years ago, I be­lieve I be­came a grand­fa­ther,” he joked.

Sal­man, how­ever, is not the only Khan who is pas­sion­ate about dogs and cats. Fel­low A-list ac­tor Aamir Khan has turned his farm­house in Panch­gani, a hill sta­tion near Mumbai, into a shel­ter for aban­doned an­i­mals. So it was no sur­prise when he showed up for a char­ity foot­ball tour­na­ment or­gan­ised re­cently by his sis­ter that was given to him by his fa­ther on his birth­day in 2006, to Hrithik Roshan, who also lost his dog Puggy last year, these Bol­ly­wood su­per­stars not only par­tic­i­pated, but dug deep into their pock­ets for the cause.

When it comes to sup­port­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions that work to­wards giv­ing aban­doned an­i­mals a bet­ter life, Bol­ly­wood stars have never hes­i­tated. The stun­ning Kalki Koech­lin, for in­stance, not only lends star power to sev­eral cam­paigns, but has res­cued two kit­tens from the mean streets of Mumbai.

“I re­mem­ber I was new in the city and did not have a proper source of in­come at the time, but when I saw these kit­tens at a traf­fic light, I could not leave them there,” says Kalki.

“I brought them home and named them Masala and Dosa. Masala did not like his new sur­round­ings and ran away one fine day but Dosa de­cided to stick around. He is a su­per cat – he’s cud­dly, af­fec­tion­ate and a nat­u­ral good looker.”

Kalki pro­moted the Adopt! Don’t Buy mantra for the Adopt a Stray Foun­da­tion, which, as the name sug­gests, en­cour­ages peo­ple to adopt stray an­i­mals. She says, “With so many home­less an­i­mals suf­fer­ing

‘My pets are part of me, and they share my ev­ery joy and sor­row. There is such a bond and rap­port’

Nuzhat and daugh­ter Ira to raise funds for Nuzhat’s non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Tigi Foun­da­tion.

Named af­ter Aamir’s favourite cat, Tigi (Trust In Good­ness In­side) aims to build a state-of-the-art an­i­mal shel­ter just out­side Mumbai. It will be able to ac­com­mo­date 100 an­i­mals at full ca­pac­ity with an in-built clinic to en­sure the res­i­dents get the med­i­cal at­ten­tion they need. The shel­ter will op­er­ate on a ‘no an­i­mal left be­hind’ pol­icy, ac­cept­ing all an­i­mals re­gard­less of their age and health.

The event saw the who’s who of Tin­sel­town pro­vid­ing their full sup­port. From Ab­hishek Bachchan, who was heart­bro­ken from the loss of his pet dog Shanouk, a Pi­ranha Dane

Sal­man Khan with man’s best friend

Sal­man and his dog Veer team up on a TV tal­ent show

An­i­mal char­ity Tigi is named af­ter Aamir Khan’s favourite cat

This cute puppy is at home on Aamir’s farm

Aamir is build­ing a state-of-the art an­i­mal shel­ter out­side Mumbai

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.