New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) Actor Dimple Kapadia on Wednesday said cinema is "not a school" but still imparts values and spreads awareness about medical conditions and other issues though the medium of celluloid.
Kapadia was speaking to PTI on the sidelines of an event here to mark the 25th anniversary of India's first liver transplant, which took place at a private hospital.
On this day in 1998, a team of doctors performed a liver transplant on Tamil Nadu native Sanjay Kandasamy, who was 20 months old at that time.
Kandasamy, now a doctor himself, had received a portion of liver from his father. He and his parents attended the event as well.
One-and-half-year-old Prisha -- the recipient in Apollo hospital's 500th paediatric liver transplant surgery -- also attended the event, being carried by her parents, who hail from Bihar.
Kapadia felicitated Kandasamy and the parents of Prisha, who underwent the transplant in January.
"I am so happy that I came to this event today and it is such an eye-opener that we can save so many lives. I wasn't aware that the liver regrows and becomes whole again. That means fantastic and so many of us can actually make a difference to somebody in life," Kapadia told PTI.
"I would like to, and I hope I can, and have the guts ... But I would like to lead by example, one day. And do this for the people who are suffering so much," she added.
The actor also praised the work done by Apollo hospitals and its doctors in the field of liver transplant.
Apollo Hospitals Group Medical Director and senior paediatric gastroenterologist Dr Anupam Sibal said more than 4,300 liver transplants, including 515 procedures on children, have been conducted at group-run hospitals since the landmark transplant 25 years ago.
He also alluded to Kapadia's character in "Dil Chahta Hai" (2001) who dies of liver cirrhosis, which he called "a silent killer".
Asked about the arc of life traced by the life stories of Kandasamy and Prisha, Kapadia said, "It's absolutely amazing... I think it's wonderful." During the interaction, the actor, who made her screen debut as a teenager in Raj Kapoor's "Bobby" (1973), also shared her thoughts on the role of cinema in bringing awareness on social and other issues.
Asked what role cinema can play in raising awareness on medical conditions, she said, "That's a tall question. But I am sure cinema does whatever it can, in its own way, sort of spreading awareness about every aspect of life, not just medicine … I can say this for myself, having grown up seeing cinema all my life. There are some great values that come and they just get imbibed … And, it gets imbibed because you are bombarded with good values." "That is what our cinema is all about, actually. I think that is what I got from it, to do for others, do your best, so much one has learned from cinema without actually trying (to preach) … it's not a school, it's not preaching. But it imparts a lot. And I hope it will go on like this," the veteran actor added.
Films such as "Sadma" (1983) starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi revolved around amnesia while the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer "Paa" (2009) highlighted a rare genetic disorder called progeria.
The plot of "Anand", a 1971 classic starring Rajesh Khanna and Bachchan, revolved around lymphosarcoma, a type of cancer.
Asked about her message to the public on organ donation, Kapadia expressed hope that more people will come forward.
"Best part is, you are not at the losing end. You are not going to lose out at all … So, it's a great message out there ... It's wonderful and we should do our best … Live and let live," she said. PTI KND SZM