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'I am ready to help', says Amitabh on the tsunami

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Amitabh BachchanSuperstar Amitabh Bachchan, moved immensely by the human tragedy unfolding in the aftermath of Sunday's tsunami, says he would love to do whatever he can to help.

"Whatever is expected from me, whatever the government wants me to do, I'm ready to do, no question about that," says Amitabh.

Expressing grief and concern over the destruction and death, Amitabh, says, "It's so painful and such a tragedy.... To see the visuals of loss and grief every day on television is extremely painful."

He speaks on behalf of Bollywood when he expresses his concern.

"I'm forced to switch off my television. It's an unbelievable disaster. We mourn for those who're affected and pray for those who have recovered and lost dear ones. On a humanitarian level we're here to do whatever we can."

He says he would love to come forward with his colleagues to help the victims.

"Every time there's a calamity the film industry comes forward to help. I've been reading and hearing some comments this time to the effect that the assistance provided doesn't reach the right quarters.

"There should be a monitoring agency to make sure that the relief reaches the distressed. Suddenly we've scores of voluntary agencies coming up. We don't know if they're all authentic and what's the sphere of their functioning. How do we know our good intentions are reaching those who need our help?

"The only foolproof way is to personally go to the affected areas and start distributing food and clothes. That isn't possible.

"So. yes, we can put in money. But I repeat, we need a monitoring agency. One solution is to have a corporate head designated to monitor movement of all relief. Thereafter the industry would feel more secure about where our efforts are going."

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