- "I was getting a lot of calls," said Sonu Sood
- "More strength to you, Sonu," tweeted Ajay Devgn
- "Words from you give me more power," replied Sonu Sood
Actor Sonu Sood, who has earned a whole lot of love on social media for arranging buses and food for stranded migrants during the nationwide lockdown, has launched a toll free helpline for home-bound migrants. On Monday, the 46-year-old actor tweeted the helpline number - 18001213711 - along with a message in Hindi, asking migrants to get in touch with him and share details of their location and their destination: "If you are in Mumbai and want to go home, please call on this number. And tell us - How many of your are there? What's your current location? And where do you want to go? Me and my team will try to help as much as possible." Sonu Sood's new initiative won hearts on Twitter, including a shout out from his Simmba co-star Ajay Devgn.
First, take a look at Sonu Sood's tweet here:
"The sensitive nature of the work that you are doing with sending migrant workers back to their homes safely is exemplary. More strength to you, Sonu," tweeted Mr Devgn. "Words from you give me more power and encourages me to work harder," replied Sonu Sood. Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan also dedicated "A big salute" to Mr Sood. The actor has been using Twitter to help migrants and other stranded citizens travel home - his feed is filled with messages and requests to arrange transport.
Thank you so much bhai. Words from you give me more power and encourages me to work harder on reuniting them with their loved ones Love u loads https://t.co/QEHn4BSLPq— sonu sood (@SonuSood) May 26, 2020
Thank u so much my brother. India knows when @SDhawan25 is at cease "WE ARE HOME". I promise, I will stay at this crease till the end and make sure that every migrant will say " WE ARE HOME " https://t.co/WhRNkjg7cb— sonu sood (@SonuSood) May 26, 2020
Twitter is flooded with appreciation posts for the actor. "The on screen villain is an inspiring hero in reality. The real gem," read a tweet while another said simply: "Respect." Another user urged that Sonu Sood be given government recognition: "This act of ultimate humanity definitely demands a Padma Shree for him."
Sonu Sood is arranging buses for migrant workers. He is trying to help as many migrants he can.— Saket (@imsaket_02) May 26, 2020
The on screen villain is an inspiring hero in reality.
The real gem@SonuSood#SonuSood#SonuSoodTheRealHeropic.twitter.com/GLDb8hIjqW
"A man can die but not his ideas"..— VishwanathTata (@Vishwanath_Tata) May 26, 2020
The first man to get an idea of helping migrants and making it happen for them to reach their homes is sonusood @SonuSood si.This act of ultimate humanity definitely demands a #PadmaShree to him.
LotsOfLove sir.@PMOIndia ,@CMOMaharashtra
Speaking to news agency PTI, Mr Sood said earlier that he decided to launch the toll free number because: "I was getting a lot of calls... thousands of calls every day. My family and friends were busy collecting the data then we realised we might miss out on a lot of people who we will not be able to approach us. So we decided to open this call centre, it is a toll free number."
Sonu Sood has also set up a team to manage the calls, he told PTI: "We have a dedicated team working on it, trying to reach out to maximum people and contact each and every person. We don't know how many people we will be able to help but we will try."
Mr Sood has also been using Twitter to connect with those requiring transport - his feed is filled with messages and requests, to which he always posts a response.
Last month, actor Sonu Sood offered his hotel in Mumbai for healthcare professionals to stay in. In an Instagram post, he wrote: "In the tough times that we have been living and to support the national heroes who have been working tirelessly day and night, I open my hotel in Juhu for all the healthcare workers. Considering the mammoth duty these heroes are doing right now, this is the least we can do for them. We are all in this together, let's all come forward and support them."
India is currently in lockdown mode till May 31; restrictions have been eased to different levels in various parts of the country. Maharashtra, with over 52,000 coronavirus cases and over 1,600 deaths at last count, is the state worst hit by the pandemic in the country. Mumbai has over 31,000 cases.