Covid-19: Akshay tops 'celebrity heartfulness index; Virat at bottom

Actor Akshay Kumar and his wife Twinkle Khanna scored perfect 10 on the index. Virat, Deepika scored a near zero.
The Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) has come out with an index to track the 'heartfulness' of famous people in the country. This report comes in the bakcdrop of donations and charities done by these celebrities at a time when the world is facing the worst crisis in over a century. The report takes into account the announcements made by their PRs regarding the donations made towards coronavirus (Covid-19) in any form. 

The IIHB panel formulated a 'Celebrity Heartfulness Index' (CHI) which considers the amount donated to charity, the stature of the celebrity and commensurate size of the donation, transparency around the giving, and whether cash has been given or promises have been made about giving in kind. 

Actor Akshay Kumar and his wife Twinkle Khanna scored perfect 10 on the index. Akshay made a donation of Rs 25 crore towards the PM-CARES fund. The fact that the amount of donation and where it was going was transparent helped Kumar earn the score. The panel gave Twinkle a score 10, believing that many partners would have stopped their spouse from making such a huge contribution, but Twinkle did not. 

"There has been a veritable PR blizzard with celebs out-doing each other in saying they are supportive of relief efforts. So we decided to dispassionately examine the reality and the quality of the giving", said Dr Sandeep Goyal, Chief Mentor, Indian Institute of Human Brands. 

Music distribution giant T-Series owner Bhushan Kumar got 9.0 rating for contributing Rs 11 crore to PM-CARES fund and Rs 1 crore to Maharashtra CM Relief Fund. The index also takes into account the efforts made by celebrities, other than writing large cheques. In this regard, young star Kartik Aryan got 8.0 rating. He was among the first celebrities to put out a video on social media to spread awareness about the coronavirus pandemic and urged his fans to practice social distancing. He also donated Rs 1 crore to PM-CARES. 

Designer Sabyasachi scored 8.0 rating. Vicky Kaushal earned 7.5 ratings for his Rs. 1 crore Covid-19 contribution. Cricketers like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Sourav Ganguly, too, were rated well on the index. So were celebrities like Lata Mangeshkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Salman Khan, Hema Malini, to name a few.

Coming to the ones who did not perform well on the index. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, and Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh scored a near-zero as their announcements said nothing about charity. MS Dhoni made a paltry contribution of Rs 1 lakh and PV Sindhu contributed a check of Rs 11 lakh, resulting in poor rating on the index. Celebs like Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Sara, Kriti Sanon, Kiara Advani, scored lowly on the index. 

"Our biggest point of debate, discussion and disagreement has been about well-orchestrated PR announcements by various stars which were many times non-specific on actual financial details. There was much fanfare about saying ‘I am donating’ (hence I need to be counted) but the amount was invariably shrouded in mystery. The panel was divided on whether celebrities are entitled to privacy on this issue. But the majority view was that if celebs can go to town on even the tiniest of personal issues like haircuts and food on their table, then why do they need to be secretive about how much they have given to charity, especially if the donations are going to a public fund. The world over, including Hollywood, meaningful contributions have all been quantified,” says Dr Goyal. “PR announcements about charity without disclosing actual amounts given out are liking firing blanks … a lot of noise, no real substance. But then the choice is of the individual celebrity”.

IIHB will soon be releasing its TIARA Report that analyses over 180 celebrities from Bollywood, cricket, sports, and television. In the report, each celebrity is analysed over 64 attributes and 100+ data points.  

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