Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Dev Patel, the British actor of Indian origin, is among the nine individuals to be honoured with the Asia Game Changer Award by Asia Society for using his celebrity status to highlight causes of India’s poor. He will be felicitated at a ceremony scheduled to be held at United Nations headquarters in New York on November 1.
Dev Patel has not only emerged as a full blown movie star with acclaimed performances in films and television shows under his belt, his work has also built bridges of understanding between India, “a country so frequently reduced to stereotype”, and audiences in the West, according to Asia Society.
Patel’s Social Campaign
The organisation, which focuses on educating the world about Asia, noted that Patel harnessed his star power with his #lionheart campaign, which raised over $2,50,000 in support of India’s homeless children. The actor, who refers to himself as just a “guy from London”, has established lasting ties with his ancestral homeland, the Society said.
“They feel a strong ownership over me,” Patel had said earlier, referring to the people of India. “Which is more than welcome in a big way.”
He was recently seen in the movie Lion, which fetched him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Supporting Role. His character Saroo is a carefree young man who becomes consumed with finding his birth mother in India after being adopted and raised by an Australian family. This was his most critically acclaimed role after his Jamal Malik burst onto the scene in Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. He will be seen next in Hotel Mumbai — a movie with 26/11 terror attacks as its dramatic centre.
Asian Games Changers Award
Asian Games Changers Award is now in its fourth year. “In a world of challenges, it is important to honour the dreamers and leaders, those who take action and those who inspire us to build a better world,” Asia Society’s president Josette Sheeran said in a statement.
Other awardees include British business magnate Aga Khan, whose philanthropy is trying to lift Asia’s vulnerable, and Afghan rapper and activist Sonita Alizadeh who uses music to highlight the trauma of Afghanistan. Cambodian environmental activist Leng Ouch, Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing’s president Jean Liu, Chinese musician and composer Wu Tong and Japanese casual wear retailer UNIQLO founder Tadashi Yanai will also receive the honour this year, along with the nonprofit organisation, Sesame Workshop.
Previous awardees include Pratham CEO Madhav Chavan and ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar from India, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma from China and education activist Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan.