Her penchant for being different and making a difference drives actor Gul Panag. In the capital at a programme for bringing together and recognising volunteers and unsung heroes, Gul shared with us details about her iniatitive Social Outreach and Accreditation Programme (SOAP) that is in its Beta stage currently.
At the launch of ‘Karmayuga — The Right Every Wrong Generation’, a nationwide campaign to ignite the volunteer spirit among commoners that was launched at the Olive Beach, Gul said, “It is an initiative to urge citizen to do something on their own level — be it keeping their neighbourhoodhood clean, or helping the hungry and needy — and not wait for the government or Anna Hazare to initiate change. It’s not necessary to be with an NGO, you can work towards bringing change while you go about your life. It’s also a request to the ‘haves’ to do something for the needy.”
One can also seek inspiration from others’ acts and be an inspiration for others by posting their story on the Karmayuga website, Righteverywrong.com and get others to correct every wrong around them.
Talking about her own initiative, Soap, a volunteering portal, Gul said, “It brings together individuals looking to volunteer, NGOs looking for volunteers and corporates that are looking for CSR opportunities and aiming to incentivise social responsibility. Every volunteer earns a credit each time he/she volunteers and that credit will give them an advantage when they appear for job interviews and appraisals. Every one is a winner — the volunteer earns credits, the NGO gets volunteers and the corporate can do CSR without spending any money.”
And for someone as big a motoring freak like Gul, the F1 carnival couldn’t have come at a better time. When asked about her plans for the F1 weekend, she chuckles, “I am very excited about the F1 happening here. Everyone’s getting requests from their uncles, aunties, and their entire extended family to take them along to watch the race. I want to watch it but nothing’s sure as of now.”
Her buzz for F1 also stems from the fact that she is among the few who have had the chance to take the Formula One beasts for a spin on the tarmac. She recalls, “A few years back I was invited by Renault to drive their F1 car around Paul Picard Circuit (France) and it was just an amazing experience. The sound of the car is exhilarating and the car sticks to the tarmac, hugs the corners and one can feel the wind the hair (as it’s an open car). It begins vibrating beyond 200-250 kilometres per hour and the thrill is unmatched.”