Former Miss India and actress Gul Panag’s voice sounds husky and soft as she speaks to BT on phone from Chandigarh. “My voice is completely gone. I’ve been screaming and shouting with my cousin, who’s come to visit my family in Chandigarh,” she beams.
Post her marriage to long-time boyfriend Rishi Attari, her dream to start an initiative, which can make a difference to society has finally taken shape. “Rishi is whole-heartedly involved in this project and everyone’s invited to join the Social Outreach Accreditation Program by becoming a member on soaponline.com. She explains, “It’s for people like you and me who have full time jobs and are looking to volunteer for social causes. This web-based program also accredits NGOs, which are looking for volunteers, corporate houses and academic institutions.” In the long run, Gul hopes that there will be people who find their calling in such work as well, and create a base for great talent in the social sector as well.
But how does one takle out time to do social service, we ask. It’s all about time management she feels. “When people ask me how do I find time to hit the gym, or blog or run soap.com. I look back at them with wonder on how they can’t find time for that. If you divide your day well by getting up early, you have many extra hours to put things in place,” she suggests. Even enjoying the rains, is something that one can do. “I put on my shorts, my fave white rain windcheater and gumboots and get playing the puddles. I quite like this the TOI collectible umbrella (in the pic), it’s cute.” She goes on, “If it’s just drizzling, I walk my dog. And if it’s raining too heavily, then what can beat some time in that comfortable chair, sipping on a cuppa health tea, reading a good book in hand and watching the rains beat down the rooftops.”