While Aamir Khan is one of India’s best known actors and producers, he is becoming almost as well known for putting his profile, time and intellect behind the country’s social causes. Aamir Khan was awarded with one of India’s greatest civilian honours, the Padma Bhushan, for his work.
Overseas and local audiences will know Mr Khan for his work as brand ambassador on the Indian government’s high-profile tourism campaign, “Incredible India”. He has also promoted the Teach India campaign to encourage more college graduates to spend time teaching students in rural areas. He was part of the game-changing National Voter Motivation Campaign in 2004 which urged people to exercise their right to vote.
His acclaimed movie "Taare Zameen Par" won hearts of children, parents and teachers for highlighting the challenges children with dyslexia face. He also promoted the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s “Atithi Devo Bhava” campaign which spreads the message ensuring safety of women travellers to India.
Given Mr Khan’s extensive and significant work in work in this area, UNICEF initiated a dialogue with him to seek his support for its work around under two’s nutrition.
Mr Khan was appointed a UNICEF National Ambassador in November 2011.
Since then, he has played a critical role in UNICEF’s nationwide campaign to highlight the importance of good nutrition in infants and toddlers, “Malnutrition Quit India”. As India’s most influential entertainer, he is the perfect choice to be the public face of this three-year national communication campaign.
Talking about the issue of malnutrition and his role in Malnutrition Quit India, Mr Khan said: “I think this has been a great opportunity for me to raise awareness on the issue of malnutrition amongst children in India. I was shocked to know that one out every two children in the country is malnourished, which makes them vulnerable to poor health and disease.
I believe we can do a lot to change this situation and with that purpose in mind I have chosen to lend my voice to UNICEF’s programme on nutrition. Partnering with UNICEF will enable me to advocate for the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in India and bring a difference to their lives and hereby to the future of our country.”
Since joining UNICEF, Mr Khan has also been a key player in the nationwide Communication Campaign on Maternal and Child Nutrition launched jointly by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and UNICEF in November 2012. The campaign is one of the largest public service efforts in the country, reaching the widest audience across India through diverse communication channels and in 18 languages.
Mr Khan has also become a member of The Citizens’ Alliance Against Malnutrition which pushes for collaboration of stakeholders across the country to advocate for improved policy and programme action for maternal and child nutrition in India.
Mr Khan is known to be a compelling advocate who has committed himself to transform and improve the circumstances of children across the country. His influential voice has helped UNICEF to reach children in every corner of the country, irrespective of their background, caste or religion. UNICEF is grateful for his influence and mass appeal to help it create significant awareness about the barriers to nutrition, survival, development and growth of millions of children in India.