Described as the ‘Indian art house icon’, by TIME magazine, Rahul Bose is more than a talented actor. He is a philanthropist at heart who has been acknowledged for his efforts in uplifting the lives of others. In 2012 on India’s Independence Day, Rahul Bose was conferred the Lt. Governor’s Commendation Award for services to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In 2013 he was awarded the Hakim Khan Sur award for his work towards national integration in association with the Maharana of Mewar Foundation. In 2014, the actor was named on the prestigious Executive Council of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Foundation for working towards communal harmony. The following year, in 2015, he was named GQ’s Philanthropist of the Year.
Spreading joy through two NGOs
Rahul Bose formed his NGO, The Foundation in 2006. It works for children from underserved areas of India. His second NGO, HEAL CSA formed in 2012 works to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. It emerged as a project from the passion and concern of the people working at ‘The Foundation’, with an aim to fight against child sexual abuse in India. In 2017, HEAL grew into an independent NGO, although it remained under the ideological umbrella of The Foundation.
He started The Foundation with the belief that the disadvantaged parts of the world can be economically and socially uplifted by the inhabitants of the region itself – the people who are ancestrally, socially and culturally linked to the land.
Since its inception, The Foundation has worked towards selecting children from the most disadvantaged areas of India and providing them good education (from grade 6 up to employability), and helping them gain multifaceted experience and exposure. The idea has been to make them capable enough so that they become thought leaders and changemakers in their regions.
At The Foundation it is our greatest desire to educate children from disadvantaged regions and then, once they are fully qualified and ready, see how, once they return to their homelands, they succeed in changing attitudes, work cultures and systems to reflect their contemporary, compassionate, excellence-driven ethos.
Rahul Bose on The Foundation’s website
The NGO envisions a community that upholds, understands and values the rights of its children by protecting them from sexual abuse.
HEAL has establishes child sexual abuse (CSA) within homes, schools, communities as an issue that can no longer be ignored, so that state and national policies on child protection can be more effective and stringent. Since an abuser can be anyone, the NGO calls for adults to make kids aware on how to identify, confront and prevent abusive behaviours, as well as understand the developmental challenges sexually abusive behaviours may pose for children, and respond to it sensitively.
There are few atrocities worse than child sexual abuse because it robs a child of trust, innocence and essence of wonder. In India, more than half of our children have been sexually abused. The only way CSA can be eradicated is to remove the veil of silence, educate and be vigilant.
Rahul Bose on HEAL’s website
A retired international rugby player, Rahul dedicated eleven years to representing India before stepping down from the national team in 2009. Known for his eloquence, he has delivered lectures on leadership, gender equality, and Indian cinema at prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell University, among others.
He has always devoted his time and energy for development works. In 2009 he was voted the Indian Youth Icon of the Year – Social Justice. In 2010, he was awarded the Green Globe award for his work on climate change.
Rahul Bose’s purposeful associations
- He has been the Global Ambassador of Oxfam, one of the foremost international NGOs working in almost every area of human development in over 100 countries
- Brand Ambassador (2009 and 2010) for Design For Change – an international community-service contest for school children
- Alert Ambassador of Planet Alert (2009) for a multi- pronged campaign to make India ‘go green’
- Event Ambassador (2007) of the Mumbai Marathon – one of the world’s top ten marathons