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Aamir Khan: Ten amazing reasons he's more than an actor

Aamir KhanIt's not often that a health website is bothered about a Bollywood star's birthday but Aamir Khan isn't a mere Bollywood actor. Quite like Rancho in Three Idiots, he has never been afraid to voice his opinion against injustice or speak up for causes he believed in irrespective of the consequences or the feathers he ruffled. And he did step on toes with his television debut Satyamev Jayate. For once, a show didn't wish to entertain but educate. And educate it did - raising awareness about issues like medical malpractice, gender discrimination, dowry deaths, malnutrition, disability, pesticides and many others.But that's what Aamir Khan does in movies and real life he expands your horizon and opens your eyes the world beyond the mundane. We love him for what he's done for these issues:

Malnutrition

Many of us might think that Aamir's altruism started with Satyamev Jayate but he has been fighting for social causes long before the show. He has been a constant voice against malnutrition for a long time and in 2011 was made an official UNICEF ambassador against it. For UNICEF, he shot 40 short films on malnutrition in 18 different languages.

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Female foeticide

We are a traditional, chauvinist, parochial and misogynist society which has no respect for the girl child and Satyamev Jayate's first episode had no qualms showing us the ugly truth. The show focussed on the disgusting practice of female foeticide and how rampant it is all over India. The episode was path-breaking in the sense that it forced various state and central governments to clamp down on illegal sex determination practices and also led to special fast-track courts being set up to deal with the issue. One hour of Aamir on TV actually made people more aware about the issue than what the government and judiciary had managed in years! Female foeticide and Satyamev Jayate became one of the most popular buzzwords with everyone from netas, netizens to normal people.

Read: SJ highlights the issue of female foeticide

Child Sex abuse

While we thought Aamir had pulled all his punches with the female foeticide episode he went on to touch upon the even more delicate topic of child sex abuse. The episode showed how permeating child sex abuse was and some measures to contain the horrible practice. Since then the child sex abuse bill has been passed in both houses of parliament, which is more gender neutral and seeks harsher punishments against the perpetrators.

Read: Second episode highlights child sex abuse

Medical malpractice

In another SJ episode, Aamir discussed the country's woeful healthcare scenario and also touched upon the practice of medical malpractice. Of course our doctors were miffed and demanded an apology which the actor refused to give. This particular episode also made generic drugs one of the most popular terms in the country. Aamir Khan and his team were also invited by a Parliamentary Standing Committee to discuss the issue.

Read: Episode 4 deals with medical malpractice

Fighting for the disabled

The disabled are often called the biggest minority and Aamir looked to highlight the trials and tribulations faced by them in an episode of SJ. It focussed on people with physical and mental handicaps and asked people to realise that we can make their lives much better by simply being a bit more considerate and aware of their needs.

Read: SJ: Enabling our disabled

IVF Assisted Reproduction Techniques

While this wasn't a social cause, Aamir made a world of difference by openly admitting to having his son Azad Rao Khan through in-vitro fertilisation an Assisted Reproduction Technique with his wife Kiran Rao. While most celebs would hide information like this Aamir and Kiran had no qualms about telling the world that he had a child through IVF. It also increased awareness about the procedure and fertility clinics all over the country started getting more enquiries about various assisted reproduction techniques.

Read:In vitro fertilisation: A new hope for the infertile

Pesticides and fertilisers

The man also questioned one of India's biggest triumphs the Green Revolution and showcased how in turn it could have been responsible for the indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilisers. This has had long term ill-effects on people, flora and fauna in and around the area. He also popularised the concept of organic farming for a healthier lifestyle.

Read: Episode exposes the pesticide feast you're exposed to

Alcohol abuse

Another societal ill the man targeted with his show was alcohol abuse and the problems it caused like drunken driving, unruly behaviour and other direct ill-effects. He also touched upon the subject that alcoholism was hurting our society and went on to explain the need to support and rehabilitate alcoholics.

Read: Alcohol abuse in our society

Safe drinking water

Despite being one of the cradles of civilisation which was nurtured next to a river and being surrounded on three sides by water, its scarcity is a big problem in India. Aamir highlighted our nation's watery woes and showed us on SJ how the situation was similar in both urban and rural areas. He also highlighted the efforts of various individuals who had taken matters into their own hands to solve the issue with alternative solutions like rainwater harvesting and building reservoirs.

Read: Will we be left with any clean and potable water?

Women's shelter

After fighting for the girl child on the show, Aamir had joined hands with an NGO to build a shelter for women in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The facility provides short-term shelter, schooling, medical facilities and also provides abandoned girls a home. Though the actor has never gone on record to say how much he donated to the facilities, an insider said that he had given amounts to the tune of Rs 5 crore to help build those facilities.

When he was featured on Time Magazine's cover the blurb read, 'He's breaking the Bollywood mould by tackling India's social evils. Can one actor change a nation? We at www.thehealthsite.com do believe he can.

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