New Delhi: Urvashi Rautela created history by winning the Miss Universe India title twice. The sensuous and sizzling Sanam Re actress was recently felicitated with the Most Viral Celeb of the Year Award at the Reliance Digital Exhibit Tech awards in Gurugram.
She is also associated with many social causes apart from running a nonprofit for empowering underprivileged people in India. Urvashi talks to Ashok Kumar of OneWorld South Asia on using stardom for social causes. Excerpts from the interview:
OneWorld South Asia: How has innovative digital technology improved lives of women?
Urvashi Rautela: With the help of digital technology women can put across their thoughts on digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Digital platform is the next big thing as it has immensely helped for the cause of women empowerment.
A woman of today is very strong. She knows what she believes in and she knows what she wants to become. Digital technology helps this woman to fulfill her aspirations.
OWSA: Tell us something about the ‘Urvashi Rautela Foundation’. ?
Urvashi: The Urvashi Rautela Foundation has been my aspiration from childhood. It is working for the needs and rights of underprivileged people in India. I truly believe in those values. One doesn’t have to wait for something that is really close to your heart.
I actually didn’t wait to be an actor for engaging in social causes. Before competing in beauty pageants, I have been continuously working on social causes related to old age people, disabled children, abandoned children and children’s education.
OWSA: How does a hot and glamorous girl like you connect and inspire the youth of country?
Urvashi: I am known for my glamorous image but at the same time people also recognise my charity side. I have won the Miss Universe India title twice. It is not like if you support social causes you are not glamorous or hot.
Celebrities set examples and are followed by a huge fan base. It has been quite shocking for me to be announced the most Viral Celeb this year.
But my parents have always taught me to stay true to my roots, my foundation. I represent young girls and boys and the youth also follows you for the kind of activities you are engaged in.
I am a very proud Uttarakhandi. I would like to dedicate all my success and achievements to my parents. They have been very supportive to me since my childhood and have always encouraged me in all my endeavours.
Women from hills are not just ravishing in their looks but also very hard working. They are also very strong, ambitious and independent. I am a true and proud representative of my state.
OWSA: How do you think emerging stars among girls and women are making a big difference?
Urvashi: I would like to take names of all remarkable women who have done work of distinction. Priyanka Chopra is doing such a wonderful work in Hollywood.
As a child I was a very, very sporty girl. Being a national lever basketball player I can confidently say that girls can do anything that boys can do.
Girls are not behind anymore. They are standing shoulder to shoulder with men in all fields including politics. Stars like P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik have made the country proud and are becoming new ideals.
I happen to share my background with Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai, two of the top female actors who emerged to limelight from beauty pageants. Girls from beauty pageants are beauties with brain and a warm heart.
OWSA: You actively support PETA (World's largest animal rights organization). Why do you think society should be truly sensitive towards animals?
Urvashi: Animals cannot speak and express themselves. Human beings are one of the most intelligent species, therefore it is our duty to be kind to them, take care of them and save animals.
I love animals. I had a pet dog named John. I was so much in love with it that my brother gave it the name of John Rautela. He was part of our family (giggles).
I want start a cow shelter in Uttarakhand. I am already involved with Save the Cow campaign and campaigning for other animals too. I am just 22. My journey has just started. But long back I made a commitment for gaushala (cattle shelter).
OWSA: Which celebrity do you admire as the face for social and development causes?
Urvashi: I admire Amitabh Bachchan for giving his face to many social causes. He also admired me for the recreated song Saara Zamana (originally from Yaarana) for Hrithik Roshan's Kaabil. Big B was part of this iconic song way back in 1980s.
Vidya Balan has campaigned for Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). SBM is striving to make our surroundings cleans and it is very important for us to have a clean country.