Ajay Devgn has been a part of the Smile Foundation for the last five years now, and their latest initiative sees the star become a goodwill ambassador for the cause of girl child empowerment through education. Ajay and Kajol’s 13-year-old daughter Nysa is also helping out.
How did you get involved in espousing the cause of the girl child?
I’ll tell you why I connect with this cause and why I understand the mindset of the women. I have been very lucky that I have always been around women in my life. It’s a fact. When I was young, my aunt and my mother took care of me - and they were very strong women. I grew up with two sisters and again they have grown into very strong women today. Then I have got a very strong wife (actress Kajol) and now I have a very strong daughter. They are very strong individuals, and I am lucky that I have been only around women at most times in my family. So I do understand their point of view. All the women in the house discuss their problems with me because they know that I will understand. This includes my daughter (smiles) -- she discusses with me first before she does so with her mother (laughs).
Your daughter Nysa is also supporting the Smile Foundation. Do you encourage her to do so?
She has earlier worked through her school for Smile Foundation. Luckily, she is privileged; and she gets what she wants. I want her to go out in the world and see what the world is all about and how underprivileged kids and girls do not get what she is getting. That is how she is going to learn. My process of teaching includes bringing her to a platform where she can understand, sympathize, support and help.
What kind of bond do you share with Nysa?
It depends on the situation. Sometimes, she behaves like my mother -- she is only firing me all the time ... how I have done wrong and what I have done wrong. Whenever I have done something right, she likes it but she says, ‘Yeah; its okay, it’s nice.’ Nothing beyond that. Otherwise, she is only correcting me. I really believe that the new generation knows much more than what we knew at their age and even what we know today. I go home and learn so many things from her — what is the mind-set, how people do things, technology et al. They are the ones who teach us.