Updated 30 September, 2020 | 14:43 IST
New Delhi: Actor Sonu Sood, who has been hailed as a hero on social media for his efforts to send thousands of stranded migrants to their home villages during and after the lockdown, has been honoured with United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award. The actor has received the award at a virtual ceremony on Monday for selflessly helping stranded migrants during the coronavirus crisis by arranging food, buses, trains and chartered flights for them and providing them job opportunities for better livelihood. The 47-year-old actor also offered his hotel in Mumbai for medical professionals to remain in and arranged safe shelters for several people in Mumbai before cyclone Nisarga hit Maharashtra coast in July.
Other celebrities who are honoured with Humanitarian Award by different UN bodies are Priyanka Chopra, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, David Beckham, Emma Watson, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas and Nicole Kidman.
A statement by UNDP on the award given to Sonu Sood read: “The ‘Special Humanitarian Action Award’ given to Mr Sonu Sood was conferred on him by the Department of designing of the govt of Punjab, with the support of the Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre. The awardees were selected supported the advice of an independent jury. UNDP wasn’t involved within the selection nor within the conferring of the award to Mr Sonu Sood. We congratulate Mr Sood on receiving this award and appreciate his humanitarian efforts to assist people in these challenging times.”
During the lockdown, Sonu Sood even launched a toll-free helpline number in order that he can help those that needed assistance during the coronavirus crisis. He also reached bent a few of members of the film fraternity who asked for financial assistance on social media.
Sonu Sood has featured during a number of Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films. He made his acting debut with the 1999 Tamil film Kallazhagar and ventured into Bollywood with the 2002 film Shaheed-E-Azam. Sonu Sood is best-known for his performances in movies like Dabangg, Yuva, Athadu, Jodhaa Akbar, Dookudu, Shootout At Wadala, Happy New Year and Simmba, among many others.