Actor Farooq Sheikh and director Anurag Kashyap today inaugurated a public health awareness campaign cum exhibition by Doctors Without Borders/Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF) here.
The "Who cares?" campaign by MSF is aimed at creating awareness in India about pressing health issues.
"Dev D" director, who had a small town upbringing, said he was aware of the pain and turmoil of a poor man in a village when he has neither the means nor the strength to fight a fatal disease.
"My mother survived tuberculosis but it took doctors eight months to diagnose it. She went through all sorts of wrong treatment. I came to realise that we need more labs. Then I saw the MSF's documentary 'Danger Zone' and I was moved by it," Kashyap said.
The director said that in India people suffer from diseases that they are not even fully aware of. He mentioned 'kala azar' (black fever), a neglected disease prevalent in Bihar as a case in point.
Sheikh said he decided to attach himself to the campaign because he wanted to contribute to the good work being done by the organisation.
"I feel no matter how small a contribution is; it is worth it. Human pain and misery goes beyond the frontiers and that is why we need people like MSF who serve humanity without considering any geographical boundary," Sheikh said.
"When you ignore the suffering of others, then you are dehumanising yourself," he added.
On being asked how cinema can help in creating awareness for a healthy society, Kashyap said, "A neglected tale can be made into a powerful film. But films alone can't fight this battle. The contribution should be collaborative. I feel the first step is to start talking about it."
MSF's India director Martin Sloot said, "Through this campaign, we seek to engage the Indian public with the lives of those who have no or very limited access to healthcare."
In India, the organisation is active in Bihar, Manipur, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland.