Tashwita Pruthi | December 31, 2017
With over 6.5 million followers on his Facebook page and an average of 597 million views in 2016 on his social videos, Varun Pruthi is a Humanitarian, Actor, Director and Producer like no other. His initiative of “Bringing Humanity Back” through social media has changed the realm of social activism in India. Little India Directory sat down with him recently for a quick chat to understand the thought process behind his ideas.
“What you do in the present reflects in the future.”
Varun may be one of the most eminent social media influencers in India but the work that he does and the way he uses his fame is not ordinary by any means.
I have always wanted to bring change in society and I used to think about the best ways to make that happen. Every time I would see something wrong, I would wish that there was more of an awareness in society of this issue. Society should see what is ethically right and wrong and that is what always inspired me to become a social activist.
I have undergone 4 years of Intensive Training in Acting from Hollywood, California. As a result of this, I started thinking of the different ways in which I could use my skill sets to bring upon the change I wanted to. That’s when I realized that the biggest medium available to me and my skill sets is social media. Not only was I able to reach a wider and more varied audience, but I was able to bring awareness to the issues that I was passionate about.
Our aim with the video was to inform the public about social issues that are prevalent amongst the common man in India.
So in this video, I pretended to be a victim of a terrible car accident to try to see whether anyone on the road would come to help me. The idea behind this video was inspired by the Nirbhaya rape case in India. I thought it was quite ironic that no one came to help the girl in need when she needed it, but half of the country was out on the streets the next day with candlelight to pray for the girl. Society should realize that we would not need the candlelight if we had been there for each other in the first place.
Therefore, I wanted to conduct a social experiment to see whether the society was actually that insensitive towards the victims. I was just as surprised with the result of this experiment as the rest of the public. (Note: Nobody came to help him when he was in need).
When we have the chance to save someone’s life, we tend to ignore it. I wanted to showcase that candle light would not be helpful if we have the chance to save someone’s life and we just pass it by. I think seeing something like that in a video really inspired a lot of people to help. A lot of my audience came back to me and told me that they were more conscious of helping others because of this video.
This is just one example of the type of videos that I create and the type of work I try to do. We aim to inform the public about social issues that are prevalent amongst the common man in India. We never try to force our opinions on the public, but we try to show them what the problem is so that people can make their own decisions and come to their own understanding of what is ethically right.
One story that was extremely touching to me was the one of the 100 year old women selling berries. It was inspiring not only because she was 100 years old and was still working on the street for a living but also it was the fact that she did not expect anything out of me.
I offered this lady Rs 1000 for her berries, and her reaction was priceless. She was overcome with emotion and bewildered by this small act of kindness by a stranger. She kissed my hands repeatedly and offered me her blessings.
I still remember one thing she said to me so clearly. She said, “I can still put the weight on my shoulders and I can still walk, so why should I not work?”
It showed me that kindness really does have the power to change people; if we could just be kind to each other, we could inspire the world to change.
The hardest challenges that I have to face in social media and the work that I do is the negativity. People are always trying to bring you down and break you in this environment and I actually use that negativity to push myself to the next level.
Sometimes in life when you become comfortable and lazy, a negative comment can really sting you. However, every time I am able to consciously realize this, I use that negativity as a motivation to push myself and do better. I make myself a “converter”.
The first step in coming up with an idea for a video is realizing that there is a problem. The next step is understanding how we can showcase that problem so that people can relate.
The ideas come from the social problems that I witness and then based on that we come up with a storyline in a way we can start to make people question their own ethics and the righteousness of their actions.
I am happy doing the work that I am doing at the moment. I want to keep working the way that I am and keep doing the work that I am for society and hopefully I will be able to bring happiness and change in lots of lives.
When we get so much support and love from people, it inspires us to keep giving our best. I would really like to thank all the people that support us and share our videos. It is because of them that our message is able to spread throughout the world.
Be honest to yourself and work really hard. The toughest part about anything is taking the first step. So if you feel for people and society, be honest to yourself and take the plunge. Do your best and people will love and support you with what you do.
Well, wherever the future takes him, it is definitely very credible what he is trying to do. It takes patience, dedication and hardwork, and with that, we wish Varun all the best!
Here are all the places you can follow Varun and his work:
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