To the villagers of Dubba Thanda in Maddur Mandal of Siddipet in Telangana, actor-philanthropist Sonu Sood is the “real hero of India”. Recognising the humanitarian work by the actor during the coronavirus pandemic, the locals of the Telangana village with the help of the Siddipet district authorities have constructed a temple in his honour.
The temple with an idol of the actor was inaugurated on Sunday in the presence of the sculptor, Madhusudhan Pal and locals. A banner behind the bust read ‘Real hero of India’ and ‘Sonu Sood Temple’. An aarti was performed, while women, dressed in traditional attires, sang folk songs. Some of his enthusiastic fans were also seen clicking their selfies and photographs with his idol at the premises of the temple. Pictures of the inauguration have gone viral on social media.
However, reacting to reports about the temple dedicated to him, Sonu in a tweet said, “Don’t deserve this sir. Humbled.”
According to the villagers, the actor had helped numerous people during the lockdown. He had helped thousands of stranded migrant workers reach their hometowns during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The actor also welcomed health workers to stay at his hotel in Mumbai when they were facing discrimination from their neighbours. The 47-year-old also launched a job portal for migrant labourers by collaborating with several employment providers. Another initiative taken up by Sonu was education as he provided smartphones and tablets to the needy so that they could continue their distance learning.
According to reports, Sonu, earlier this month, had mortgaged his properties in Mumbai, to raise money to help underprivileged migrant workers and patients who suffer from serious diseases. Sonu, who receives thousands of requests for help every day, also faces his fair share of pranksters. One such person asked the actor to arrange transport to the Maldives for him, to which the actor wittily replied in Hindi, “Cycle pe jaoge ke riksha pe bhai (Would you prefer a bicycle or a rickshaw)?”
Sonu, who received SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations, will be releasing a book titled I am No Messiah, which he co-authored with Meena Iyer later this month. The book, to be published by Penguin Random House India will feature stories he heard, his interactions with the migrants, and the experiences, which impacted his life, changed his outlook and purpose of life.
The actor is currently filming for Alludu Adhurs (Telugu), Prithviraj (Hindi) and Thamilrasan (Tamil).