Sanjay Dutt - The Golden Heart

Sanjay Dutt in Blue

"The Man with the Golden Heart"

- Sanjay's generosity is legendary in the film industry. More than once he spontaneously opened his wallet to give a loan to a technician or a spot worker in financial distress - without talking about interest or repayment. For a long time he completely forgot thereover to assure some reserves for himself. Only thanks to his friend Suniel Shetty's vigorous intervention, he was able to get his disastrous financial situation back in shape again. Today he pays more attention to who really needs his help and who just wants to presume his good nature. But he never ceased to help people in need whereever he can. Also his friends can rely on him. He loves to work with people he's comfortable with and often agrees to do films for friends without even asking for the script.

- Sanjay enjoys love and respect from nearly every member of the film industry, from his co-stars to the unit hands, and that's because he too treats them with love and respect (Shilpa Shetty once revealed that he addresses really everybody on the sets with -ji). In spite of his stardom, he always remained human and humble following his motto "do your job and don't mess around on the sets". Typically he hardly ever disappers into his van between two shots but seeks company of the technicians and unit hands, chats with them, tastes their home-cooked food and praises their wives' cookeries, and smokes (and even shares) his cigarettes with them. Patiently he listens to their needs and sorrows and helps them either with his own wallet (read e.g. "God of the lesser children" in Stardust 3/1993), by his influence on the trade unions or by simply refusing to continue shooting when he comes to know that a technician or a spot boy hasn't been paid his wages for weeks. The younger stars love him because he never tries to shorten their screentime or to outact them, but rather helps them as much as he can. He is commonly known as the "dost (friend) of the industry".

- The advantage of having Sanjay as a co-star is that he has enough confidence in himself that he is never insecure or has any rivalry feelings ("there is enough place in the industry
for everybody"). And right from the beginning of his career he always made it a point that he doesn't want to be a part of the rat race. He doesn't care about rankings, he just wants to make his mark. His favourite quote in this context is, "I'm not a number, I'm Sanjay Dutt".

- In spite of his love for speedy cars, Sanjay is everything else than overprotective when it comes to his own scooters. He often invites street children awestruckly crowding around his car to jump in and to drive around the block with him. And a journalist who once made admiring remarks about his BMW actually got Sanjay's spontaneous offer to drive the dream automatic himself...
("I still remember one night he was driving me back into town after a night at 'Jazz by the Bay' with Rhea and a few friends. I was admiring his BMW when he did the unthinkable. On the steep slope leading up to the bridge over Kemps Corner, he stopped. 'Go on! Drive it,' he told me... Of course I didn't drive the dream automatic. But I did see a raw emotion in a man often accused of being unemotional. Sanju is far from unemotional, he's just learnt to keep it within. The turmoil only showing in those hurt, vulnerable eyes." - Omar Qureshi, in: Stardust Annual, 1998)

- Nevertheless Sanjay is often still referred to as the original Bad Boy of Bollywood - not only because of his many gangster roles but of course also because of his eventful life containing everything from drug and alcohol excesses and brawls to firearms, terror charges and prison...

- Sanjay is basically shy. Performances in public are therefore not his favourite disciplines, and if they are unevitable he usually shows a sort of awkwardness and taciturnity. The only place for him to overcome his shyness are the film sets; in front of the camera he does everything his director wants him to do. He just doesn't like live events on stages. So live performances with Sanjay are very rare. He was part of concert tours like
"Wanted" 2000 and "Now Or Never 2" 2002, but appearances like the Munnabhai performance at the Sansui award function in 2004 are very rare jewels.

- For many younger actors Sanjay is idol, role-model and inspiration. Among the stars who openly confess that Sanjay is like an icon to them are Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Arjun Rampal, John Abraham, Upen Patel and Imran Khan.

Sunil Shetty, Bunty Walia, Ajay Arora, Ajay Marwah, Nitin Manmohan, Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra, Amrita Singh, Arshad Warsi, Aamir Khan, Fardeen Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Pradeep and Sanjita Sinha and Salman Khan with his family are counting among Sanjay's closest friends. Abhishek Bachchan loves him as his elder brother (calling him "Sanju Sir“) while his father Amitabh Bachchan refers to Sanjay as "a great and very loyal friend". Like Dilip Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha, whom Sanjay respects very much, Amitabh Bachchan has been a friend to the Dutt family for many years, and Sanjay declares him to be his idol as an actor: "I respect Amitji so much that I automatically stand up when I talk to him on the phone."


Sanjay's Charity

Sanjay Dutt on December 17, 2006
with children who, successfully, underwent a drug rehab

"If you have it, give it." (Sanjay Dutt)
"When you're in trouble, turn to Munnabhai." (Sharin Wader)
"It's people like Sanjay who make our world a better place." (Achala Sachdev)

Sanjay does a great deal for many charitable purposes and goes out of his way when he can help people. Among other things, he works with patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and spastic paralysis and supports autistic children. After Sunil Dutt's death he took on his father's legacy including his charitable institutions, e.g. the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation, founded by Sunil in memory of Nargis, which provides access to medical treatment for indigent cancer patients. He also supports the CPAA (Cancer Parents Aids Association)
; in this CPAA Newsletter you'll find a heartwarming report about how Sanjay fulfilled the last wish of a 16-year-old blood cancer patient. The NGO RareBloodGroups (Uday Foundation) also can rely on Sanjay and his support.

Here Sanjay talks about how his mother died of cancer, and urges all women for regular cancer check-ups.

Understandably, an important concern to Sanjay is drug prevention and help for drug addicts. He supports the NGO SUPPORT (Society Undertaking Poor People's Onus for Rehabilitation), helping street children to get away from drugs, and is available as a consultant for drug addicts at any time. He doesn't shy away from talking in public about his drug phase, just to prevent other people from making the same mistake as he did respectively to give them the courage to fight their addiction - if he could make it, others can make it, too.

A photo from Stardust Annual 1997: Sanju plays with children
from the Akanksha Foundation, an NGO working with underprivileged
children in the slums to make them educated and self-raliant in life.

Sanjay has a great love for children. Often he visits orphanages and children wards in hospitals to play with the children, or he spontaneously invites them for a ride in his car. He also organizes events whose proceeds he provides to projects for children. Working for the NGO Support, he often invites drug-addicted street children to his home, and they just love their Sanju bhayya (or Munnabhai, as they also lovingly call him) and would do everything to be with him - even kicking drugs...

Read the heart-warming article
"The Modern Messiah" from 1997 (Stardust Annual) about Sanjay's work with slum children for the Akanksha Foundation (and check the loveable pics): Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3

Another NGO Sanjay willingly became brand ambassador for is Save the Children, founded by the late Vipula Kadri, mother of Mana (Sunil) Shetty: "The fact the Sanjay Dutt is very closely involved with many charitable causes is known to one and all. Adding yet another feather to his already impressive cap of social work, Sanjay Dutt would now be seen as the face of ‘Save the Children’." (IndiaFM, December 7, 2007)

This love for children and his love for his late father ewoked plans in Sanjay for a foundation named by Sunil Dutt which shall give access to education to underprivileged children. This foundation shall be linked to the Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation.

To support unit members like technicians and spot boys in financial distress, Sanjay in 2003 founded together with Suniel Shetty and Ajay Devgan the Actors Association ASS, which among other things organizes benefit events.

His generosity supports all people in need. The report about a peon whom Sanjay gave the money he needed for the surgery of his six-month-old daughter Shravani, who is born with a cardiac defect, is just one example of many.

Together with his sister Priya Sanjay founded the One Tree Foundation which primarily works for environment protection. Every year, together with his family members, Sanjay organizes the One Tree Music Festival and invites famous musicians to come over to India; the proceeds go to charity projects.

Another project Sanjay's heart beats for is Team Tiger, fighting for saving the tigers in India.

The NGO Damage, which takes care of under-privileged women and disabled children, is a charity organisation run by Sanjay's wife Manyata with her friends and they help women in distress, physically challenged children, arrange marriages of the underprivileged, aid in the treatment of cancer. Even the Super Fight League founded by Sanjay and Raj Kundra raises funds for donations to charity.

And forever linked with his name will be the great Help Concert after that horrible Tsunami in December 2004, for it was none other than Sanjay Dutt who then immediately grasped the initiative respectively the receiver and coordinated this fabulous benefit event. He had experience in organizing such events after e.g. having organized the benefit concert Each One Reach One in 2003 together with Rhea; loads of stars from the film and fashion fraternity performed in Mumbai for the World Youth Summit India.

"I’ve never taken advantage of my name for personal gain but I don’t think twice before doing so if I feel it will benefit someone. In the past, I’ve used my name to get poor kids admitted into a school and to get medical treatment for those who can’t afford it." (Sanjay Dutt, in: Filmfare 10/2005)

"If you have it, give it." (Sanjay Dutt, in: Filmfare 12/2004)

P.S. Sanjay's good example inspires even his fans to good deeds. For example, his fans in Germany made several donations to SUPPORT (March 2008, July 2008, July 2009, July 2010, July 2011, July 2012).


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