Priyanka Chopra, is one of India’s most popular actresses and singers. She has won accolades including India’s prestigious National Film Award and is equally acknowledged for her sharp acting talent as for her slew of successful films. Most importantly, she is an icon for Indian youth, especially girls. For young Indian women, the actress symbolizes power and strength.
Ms Chopra is also known for her contribution to social causes, particularly those involving children. She has been associated with a number of NGOs to raise awareness about ways to improve the condition of the girl child in India.
She has also been a part of the UN’s global “Girl Up” campaign, which envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. For these reasons, Ms Chopra is an ideal voice to support UNICEF’s work in India.
Ms Chopra has now been associated with UNICEF for almost a decade. In 2010, she was appointed a UNICEF National Ambassador, tasked specifically with promoting child rights and adolescence. She has partnered with UNICEF to feature in videos and advertisements aimed at building awareness for child rights and the need to create healthy environments for children, filled with opportunities to blossom.
Among the key UNICEF campaigns that Ms Chopra has been associated with is 'Deepshikha”, campaign. The campaign aims at strengthening adolescent and young women’s groups through imparting to members life skills, enterprise skills and networking skill training.
The “Deepshikha” campaign has helped 65,000 girls and young women in the state of Maharashtra develop entrepreneurial skills and build self-confidence through financial education and leadership training.
Ms Chopra has also been actively associated with the Awaaz Do”, campaign, advocating the cause of every child’s entitlement to free schooling through the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act.
Launched in 2010, the digital campaign “Awaaz Do” generated an overwhelming response with more than 200,000 people signing up in less than three months. Ms Chopra supported it by creating a video message urging people to join and signing up herself.
Ms Chopra has also helped to publicize the “Dare to Care” campaign, which urges supporters to get actively involved and demand the rights for adolescent girls across the country especially those who are excluded and marginalized. She has also given her vioce to the “End Violence against Children” campaign, which aims at raising awareness about different forms of violence, including physical, emotional and sexual, and child marriage.
Ms Chopra says of her support for children’s causes: “Children are the future of our country and ensuring a safe and healthy environment along with appropriate opportunities to blossom is key to a brighter future for these children as well as our country. I am glad to be associated with UNICEF and its various programmes that aim at empowering the children and adolescents. I strongly advocate that we need to give these children more opportunities to grow in their life. I personally feel that our regular efforts in empowering the adolescent girls will contribute to the growth of our country.”
Ms Chopra has helped create awareness around a wide range of children’s issues and encouraged parents, caregivers, policymakers and other prominent members of society to take notice of the issues and work towards combatting them. UNICEF is very grateful to her for her support over many years.