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Indian Cinema Legend Clears Debts of 1,398 Farmers
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan said he has "taken care" of 1,398 farmers by wiping out more than $560,000 (40m rupees) of their debt, BBC News reported.
"Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer from ... and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed," the 76-year-old Indian film legend wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
The farmers are from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where Bachchan was born.
Bachchan cleared their loans owed to the Bank of India, which issued a "one time settlement document and certificate" to confirm the payment, he wrote.
So far, he has identified 70 of the farmers and has reserved a train coach to bring them to Mumbai so he can meet them in person and present them with the bank documents.
"I shall wish of course to give these settlements, these confirmations that their loans have been paid off, personally," Bachchan wrote.
His post concluded with a poignant message: "GIVE .. TO THEM THAT HAVE NOT .."
India's agricultural industry is one of the most vital sectors of the country's economy, but tens of thousands of Indian farm workers are battling adversity in the face of unrelenting debt.
Nearly 60,000 Indian farmers have tragically committed suicide in the past three decades. The epidemic has been exacerbated by the effects of climate change, such as drought and rising temperatures, that stress the country's agriculture sector, scientists have said.
Bachchan, who has acted in about 200 films, was once named the "most famous actor of the millennium" by BBC News readers.
He is the host of the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." As CNN noted, he recently spoke about his plans to help Uttar Pradesh farmers after a farmer appeared on the show as a contestant.
"Recently in Maharashtra, I have ensured that the loans of around 360 farmers have been paid off to the banks. My next step is to help clear loans of approximately 850 farmers in Uttar Pradesh," he said on the show.
Bachchan and his fellow Bollywood star Deepika Padukone were recently named India's most influential personalities by the YouGov Influencer Index 2018, which studies consumer perceptions of top Bollywood celebrities and sports personalities.
- Opinion | In India, Farmers Face a Terrifying Crisis - The New York ... ›
- 70% Of India's Farm Families Spend More Than They Earn–Debt ... ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."