UNICEF ropes in Big B as goodwill ambassador

MUMBAI: UNICEF appointed Amitabh Bachchan as its international Goodwill Ambassador in a formal signing event with UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy.

"Amitabh has the star power to illuminate the lives of the millions of children who are living in dire circumstances. We look forward to a long collaboration with him, and we feel honoured to have him as part of the UNICEF family," said Bellamy.



Bellamy appoints Amitabh Bachchan a UNICEF goodwill ambassador at UNICEF House Bachchan's collaboration with UNICEF began in 2002 when a polio outbreak in northern India threatened to spread. His appearance in a series of award-winning television and radio commercials encouraging parents to take their children for vaccination against the crippling disease played an important role in saving lives.

Following the devastating tsunami in December, Bachchan appeared in a public service announcement on behalf of the victims and reminded people of their collective duty to protect and care for children, especially in times of crisis.



Bachchan addresses the gathering at the ceremony appointing him a UNICEF goodwill ambassador at UNICEF House with Bellamy. As a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Bachchan's special areas of focus will be polio eradication and HIV/AIDS. His role will include highlighting these issues with field visits, public appearances, and speaking out on behalf of children.

Bachchan is joining a select company of other public figures who have stood up for children, from the first goodwill ambassador Danny Kaye appointed in 1954 to the legendary Audrey Hepburn to the present day champions for children, Sir Roger Moore, Harry Belafonte and singer Angelique Kidjo, to name a few.



UNICEF goodwill ambassador Amitabh Bachchan presents a copy of his autobiography 'To Be or Not To Be - Amitabh Bachchan' to UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy

UNICEF staff greeted Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan to the UNICEF House in a traditional Indian welcome for honoured guests. He then met with Bellamy and later signed a letter of commitment for a two-year assignment with the agency.

"I am thrilled to be named goodwill ambassador, this is a great honour for me. I truly hope I will be able to make a difference in children’s lives," said Bachchan.

Also present at the function were Amar Singh, Tina Ambani and Abhishek Bachchan.

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