It has been a long journey from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh to Raichur for Kannada actor Pooja Gandhi who is contesting the Assembly elections as a BSR Congress candidate.
Ms. Pooja Gandhi, who shot to fame through Mungaru Male a few years ago, faces a formidable opponent in two-time MLA Syed Yasin of the Congress.
Despite the sweltering heat, the actor appears to be enjoying her new role.
“Social work has been my passion for the past several years. I was involved in the rehabilitation of women and children in distress in several parts of Karnataka, including Bijapur, Bagalkot, Belgaum, Mangalore and Bangalore,” she said.
Speaking to The Hindu during her door-to-door campaigning, she said: “Karnataka has given me everything, and I want to do my bit for the development of the State, particularly those in distress.”
Talking freely with women in Kannada, she makes it a point to touch the feet of elders.
The actor said she chose to contest from Raichur as it was a backward region.
The life of women in rural areas is woeful; there are no basic necessities, including toilets, she said.
Taking on the elected representatives and successive governments, she said child labour was rampant and literacy rate low, and nothing was done for the welfare of the people.
Ms. Pooja Gandhi alleged that the Janata Dal (S) and the Karnataka Janata Paksha, with which she was briefly associated, did not give space for women to establish themselves, but the BSR Congress gave her an opportunity to fight the elections and raise people’s issues.
‘Not worried about result’
“I am not bothered about the outcome. I am overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on me by the people of Raichur, and even after the elections I will make Raichur my base and work for its development,” she said.