Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has been making headlines right from her first film Om Shaanti Om. Famous for almost all her roles — on-screen and off-screen — she has had her fair share of media moments.
But, even though she has been criticised and trolled for every move that she makes, strong-headed Deepika remains bold, intelligent, and charismatic.
Today, on January 5, as Deepika celebrates her 35th birthday, YS Weekender takes a look at the woman beyond the silver screen.
In the last couple of years, Deepika has turned to the Indian startup ecosystem to support businesses and brands.
She made her debut as a startup investor in 2019 with yoghurt brand Epigamia's parent company Drums Food International. In November 2020, the Bollywood actor also invested in the seed round of edtech startup FrontRow.
"If there’s one thing I wish I had access to while growing up, it would be a platform like FrontRow — one that gives individuals access to abundant knowledge in non-academic fields and connects them to a community of peers in their field of interest.”
Mental health advocate
For years now, Deepika has been quite vocal about her experience with anxiety and depression. In 2015, she started the Live Love Laugh Foundation to support people dealing with mental health issues.
Last year, she also received the Crystal Award for her leadership in raising mental health awareness.
She said, "My love and hate relationship with this has taught me a lot and I want to tell everyone suffering from this that you are not alone."
The Live Love Laugh Foundation organises awareness programmes in schools across the country and provides funding for free psychiatric treatments, medical education programmes, and public awareness campaigns.
It is well-known that Deepika's father Prakash Padukone has been one of the best badminton players, even ranking world's #1 in 1980. He also became the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championship.
But before entering Bollywood, Deepika herself played badminton at the national-level. She is also a former state-level basketball player.
Social causes promoter
Towards the end of 2019, and beginning of 2020 the anti-CAA and NRC protests made it to the headlines in the country, and worldwide. To support Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union, Deepika showed up at the protests.
Deepika has also adopted the village Ambegaon, Maharashtra as a part of NDTV’s Greenathon initiative and is the brand ambassador of Indian Psychiatry Society.
Happy birthday, boss lady!
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta