Kunal Kapoor has been away from the media glare for quite sometime. The actor has been working hard on his crowdfunding platform, Ketto, which provides financial medical assistance to those in need. Ketto has raised funds over Rs 500 crore, with the help of over 55 lakh donors. And now, Kunal, who is the co-founder of the platform is launching a Podcast to spread awareness about many deadly diseases.
We spoke to Kunal at length about this initiative. The actor also shared his thoughts on being away from the limelight, not been seen in the social circles and his wife, Niana. Excerpts below:
Tell us about the initiative and how did you think of this Podcast?
We started about 7 years ago, when I co-founded this crowdfunding platform, Ketto, where we raise money for medical causes. We have raised about Rs 500 crore till now. Ketto forms as a bridge between those who can help and those who need help. We realized while interacting with so many patients over the years that when you fall sick, many questions come up in your mind. Of course, we turn to a doctor for help, but a lot of us also resort to Google, which is a sea of information, and most of it can be misleading and contradictory at times, especially when it comes to medical assistance. So, you end up even more confused than from where you started off.
Now, Podcasts have become quite engaging and famous, so we thought what if we get stories of people who have fought deadly diseases- what line of treatment they took, alternate therapies, lifestyle changes, mental changes, on a platform to discuss. By this, a lot of people who are suffering from a similar situation may get help and know exactly how to go ahead.
Who are you starting the podcast with?
We are starting off with Cancer survivors in the first season. So, we will be talking to them and also with their caregivers because when you suffering, it’s not just the person who has the disease but also the family,
Our first guest will be Teena Kaur, National Award winner, who is making a documentary on how she beat Breast Cancer. I have seen the film, and it’s very good. We live in a world where Cancer is still considered to be a taboo, a lot of people feel it’s a shame to be suffering from Breast or Uterus Cancer, and don’t talk about it- so, her documentary is about that.
How do you ascertain that a patient really needs the help and avoid any discrepancy?
We deposit the money directly in the hospital. So, the patient lets us know what is the requirement, we crosscheck with the hospital and then the campaign is started on Ketto.
Also, tell us Kunal, why do we see you less in movies, are these campaigns keeping you busy?
I get asked this question a lot and let me tell you I love movies, I would love to shoot everyday but I haven’t been able to come across roles or scripts in which I would have my heart in. But I think that’s changing, in the last couple of years, I have been offered interesting projects. I am wrapping-up the shoot for a film titled, Koi Jaane Na, which is also my first action-thriller. It’s got a comic book twist to it too, so it’s quite unique. It will release early next year with T-Series.
Besides that I have been penning down stories as I love writing and have been an assistant director too. So, I have finished 2 stories and one of them will be going in for production, early next year.
Any plans to write for web series, as digital platform is booming?
Yes it’s something I really enjoy. Even as a kid, I was a shy person but when it came to storytelling, I used to come alive. Web space is such an incredible medium for a creative person. You don't have to worry about things about which you worry in a theatrical film like you don't have to think about adding an item song, do things to pull crowd to the theatres- all you need is an interesting story line for a web series to be a hit.
Do you socialize less? Or go to producers or directors for work?
I enjoy my time alone. I love learning new things. In the last few years, I have learnt how to fly, drive race cars- so yes I like my ‘me’ time but it's not that I don't socialize. I love meeting people. But I have a certain group of friends, with whom I'd rather have dinner than go to a party. I am not a big drinker, I sleep early which is why it may come across as if I am not a very social person. As far as producers and directors are concerned, when I get to know that they are casting for an interesting script or role, I do reach out to them.
I also have a life beyond movies. I have investments in tech companies. So, I have a lot friends from that sector too and a lot of socializing happens even there.
Has life changed after marriage?
Certainly! I have changed for the better. Marriages can be destructive because the person you are with, can bring out the worst in you and at times it can be incredibly constructive because the person brings out the best in you. With Naina, she has helped me figure out what my weaknesses are and helped me work on them, and also my strengths and helped me develop them. So, she has had a huge contribution in my life.
Your marriage was a low-key affair.
Yes, we wanted to keep it quiet. We both are private people, so we tried keeping it as intimate as possible with few friends and family in attendance.
Are you planning to start a family soon?
(Laughs) of course we will plan sooner or later. It will happen when it has to happen.
Image Source;- instagram/kunalkkapoor/ hrithikroshan/
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