Amitabh Bachchan, is in popular parlance, the king of Indian cinema. On 14 April 2005 he was officially appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador by Executive Director Carol Bellamy at New York Headquarters. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Bachchan will focus on polio eradication and HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Bachchan is the prodigious son of the great Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. He is extremely well-respected and has a powerful connection with the Southeast Asian population. Mr. Bachchan appeals to people from all walks of life, from the youngest to the oldest.
Since 2002, he has been taking time out of his busy acting schedule to contribute to India’s pulse polio immunization program and appeared in a series of award-winning television and radio commercials, which the Government of India and UNICEF have been telecasting an all national channels. Due to his enormous popularity, credibility and appeal as a humanitarian, he played an instrumental role in convincing parents to immunize their children.
In early January 2005, Mr. Bachchan made an appeal for relief to tsunami survivors. He spoke passionately of the world’s collective duty to the children who are the youngest and most vulnerable of the survivors. He recorded a Public Service Announcement on 30 October for the Global HIV/AIDS Campaign and met with HIV-infected children.
Also in 2005, Mr. Bachchan will do a special 90 minute episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati for UNICEF on Diwali eve, 30 October 2005.This is the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Mr. Bachchan will speak about UNICEF, its mandate and his role as Goodwill Ambassador. The award money will go directly to UNICEF India.
A prolific actor, Mr. Bachchan has starred in more than 150 films. Many of his films, particularly those from the mid-1970’s to the mid-1980’s, were resounding successes. He is not only a Bollywood star but has also received international accolades. In 1999, Mr. Bachchan was voted the Star of the Millennium in BBCs poll on the Internet.He defeated the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Robert De Niro to win this honor. In 2001, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his outstanding contributions to Indian cinema. He has also provided narration for numerous films and cultural programs
Mr. Bachchan is married to Jaya Bhaduri, also a talented and popular actress. They have two children.