After backlash, Deepika's conversation with WHO chief put on hold
Recently, Deepika Padukone announced that she would collaborate with the Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to discuss the importance of mental health in light of the coronavirus crisis. However, given the widespread sentiment against Dr. Tedros, the move was criticized and labeled as tone-deaf. Now, Deepika has stated that the conversation has been put on hold. Here is more.
Since months now, Dr. Tedros has been on receiving end of criticism from leaders and experts around the world. The WHO chief has been accused of taking a lax approach towards the coronavirus situation, thereby allowing it to spread across the globe. United States President Donald Trump has repeatedly berated Dr. Tedros for failing to reveal pivotal data about the virus and favoring China.
Deepika on Wednesday took to Instagram to give the update. The actor wrote in a statement, "I regret to inform you that due to unforeseen and highly unavoidable circumstances, the conversation 'Prioritising mental health during the pandemic and beyond' between Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO and I, scheduled for April 23, 2020 has been put on hold until further notice."
However, Deepika stressed on the significance of focusing on mental health during these testing times. She stated, "Having said that, mental health is a very real and valid aspect of this pandemic; one that I hope we prioritize and nurture through these unusual times and beyond." For the unversed, Deepika has been long associated with efforts to spread awareness about mental health.
Ever since she went public about her diagnosis with depression, Deepika has often spoken about mental health issues. In 2015, the actor launched the Live Love Laugh Foundation, an NGO working to reduce the stigma around mental health and spread awareness about it. This year, Deepika was conferred with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her contribution to the cause.
Meanwhile, Deepika is doing her bit to fight the pandemic. She has been regularly posting videos to spread awareness about the coronavirus. Deepika, along with her husband Ranveer Singh, also pledged a donation to the Prime Minister's relief fund aimed at combating the deadly virus.