Priyanka Chopra Philanthropy
Chopra supports various causes through her foundation “The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education”, which works towards providing support to unprivileged children across the country in the areas of Education and Health. She donates ten percent of her earnings to fund the foundation’s operations, and pays for educational and medical expenses for seventy children in India, fifty among whom are girls. She often speaks out on women’s issues: against female infanticide and foeticide, and in support of education for girls. A believer in feminism, Chopra has always been vocal about women’s rights, gender equality, and gender pay gap. In 2006, a “day with Chopra” was auctioned on eBay; the proceeds were donated to an NGO, Nanhi Kali, which helps educate girls in India. She has made appearances in support of other charities, such as the 2005 HELP! Telethon Concert to raise funds for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
She has worked with UNICEF since 2006, recording public-service announcements and participating in media panel discussions promoting children’s rights and the education of girls, and also participated in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She was appointed as the national UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights on 10 August 2010. UNICEF Representative Karin Hulshof said of the appointment: “She is equally passionate about her work on behalf of children and adolescents. We are proud of the work she has done with us so far on child rights, and, we are thrilled about all what we will be doing together so that no child gets left behind.”] In 2009, she shot a documentary for the organisation Alert India to increase understanding of leprosy. She modelled for designer Manish Malhotra and Shaina NC’s charity fashion show to raise funds for the Cancer Patients Aid Association NGO. In 2010 Chopra was one of several celebrities who created promotional messages for Pearls Wave Trust, which campaigns against violence and abuse of women and girls. Chopra also launched the “Save the Girl Child” campaign, which aims to change the attitudes of Indians towards girls. In 2012 Chopra spoke at the launch of Awakening Youth, an anti-addiction programme.
At a public event in 2019, an activist criticised Chopra for a tweet in which she hailed India’s military forces while tensions amid Pakistan and India were escalating. The main line of argument was that she was warmongering and that was incompatible with her job as UN Peace Ambassador. Chopra’s response at the event was that she is patriotic; she was also fast to silence the activist criticising her. Pakistan asked for Chopra being sacked from her UN job but UN supported Chopra’s right to talk for herself.
Chopra is a supporter of environmental charities and is brand ambassador for NDTV Greenathon, an initiative to support eco-friendliness and provide solar power to rural villages without electricity supplies. She appeared with children in an animated video to support the cause, and removed rubbish from the banks of the Yamuna river in Agra to increase awareness of environmental issues. During the third and fourth editions of Greenathon, She adopted up to seven villages to provide with a regular supply of electricity. She adopted a tigress in 2011 and a lioness in 2012 at the Birsa biological park, paying for both animals upkeep for a year. To promote organ donation, Chopra pledged to donate her own organs after death and was co-keynote speaker at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Bollywood-themed 20th-anniversary celebration of its liver-transplant programme in 2012.
She donated ₹5 million (US$70,000) to Nanavati hospital to build a cancer ward. The ward, which is named after her late father, was inaugurated by her in 2013. The same year, she provided voice-over in English and Hindi for the documentary film Girl Rising for the organisation of the same name. She was invited as one of the speakers alongside Gordon Brown, Steve Wozniak, Bill Clinton, and Charlie Baker for the 50th anniversary of the World Leaders Conference at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston. She spoke about women empowerment through education, discussing inequality and the challenges of education for women, and received a standing ovation for her speech. Chopra also lent her voice to a music video of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. The video featuring her along with other singers, including Katy Perry, and The Black Eyed Peas was created as part of a global campaign by UNICEF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi selected Chopra as one of his nine nominees called “Navratna” in 2014 for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a national cleanliness campaign by the Government of India. She lent her support to the campaign by working as a sanitation worker for a day, cleaning and rehabilitating a garbage-laden neighbourhood in Mumbai, and urged people to maintain the cleanliness.
In 2015, she voiced People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA’s) life-size robotic elephant named “Ellie”, who visited schools across the United States and Europe to educate kids about elephants and captivity, and to urge people to boycott circuses. Chopra was appointed as the global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 2016. In 2017, Variety honoured her with the Power of Women award for her philanthropic work with UNICEF and she received the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice for her contribution towards social causes. Two years later, Chopra was awarded the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award by UNICEF for her “philanthropic work and dedication towards the welfare of the society” at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball 2019.
In December 2019, Chopra teamed-up with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Crocs Company to donate 50,000 pairs of shoes to deserving school children in the Central American country, Belize.