Popular Odia cine star Sabyasachi Mishra had thought it would be a one-off affair when he got an SOS for help from a group of Odia students stranded somewhere in Haryana due to the prolonged countrywide, Corona-induced lockdown in March.
Sabyasachi arranged for their transport and got them back in Odisha. But before he realized, more such requests started coming in.
Along with the numbers, the nature of the distress calls too kept changing as Covid-19 played havoc with lives, livelihoods and society at large: people going without rations, those needing medical supplies, students in need of a smart phone or money to recharge it (so they can attend online classes), even wives abandoned by their husbands!
What had started as a trickle soon became a torrent with the actor receiving an average of 500 calls/messages for help every day at the height of the pandemic.
‘Sabya’, as he is known to his close friends, never said no to anyone and went out of his way to help out the people in distress.
Sabyasachi Mishra has spent over Rs 20 lakh on what has now become both a passion and a mission for him, while his close friends and well-wishers have chipped in with generous contributions.
“As an actor, my job is to spread smiles. And that is precisely what I am trying to do with this work too,” says the actor with the boy-next-door image.