Sabyasachi Mishra is a household name in Odisha, his achievements as an actor are enviable. But for the past three months and more, he has been in the news for something out of his domain: helping people hit by the Covid pandemic. He has been receiving and responding to SOS calls from his fans and well-wishers and doing everything he can to come to their rescue. People have flocked to him and sought his intervention for solution to their problems: a group of people starved of money and ration, another group stranded in a faraway land by the lockdown desperately trying to return home. And he hasn’t disappointed anyone. Hundreds of people have had their problems sorted out with his intervention and they can’t thank him enough. His Twitter handle @sabyaactor is full of pictures of people he has helped.
Sabyasachi says he didn’t plan to get into this but listened to the call of his conscience. “People see us on screen as heroes and think we can do anything in the real world too. While we know it is not possible, it is difficult to stay impervious to their desperate pleas, break their hearts. That is how I got drawn into it,” he says.