A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Bollywood star Rahul Bose is well known for his social conscience and has been an active supporter of Oxfam since 2004.
The actor and former Indian rugby international became involved with the charity following the Indian Ocean tsunami, when he supported Oxfam's emergency relief and rehabilitation work in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He has gone on to become one of Oxfam's most prominent campaigners.
As part of the Health and Education for All campaign, Rahul has urged the Indian government to keep its promise of allocating 9% of GDP to education and health. In 2007, he teamed up with school children at a rally in Delhi to sign an Oxfam petition calling for six million more doctors, nurses and teachers worldwide; over a million are needed in India alone. Rahul has spoken out in the Indian media of the need for better school and hospital facilities, and has made a short film about street children for the campaign.
Rahul also supports Oxfam's We Can campaign, which aims to break down attitudes that support violence against women. Half of all women in South Asia face violence in their daily life; social customs in many communities tacitly condone it. At the campaign launch in India, Rahul spoke to hundreds of young men and women about changing the way people think.
In 2008, he joined a star-studded line up including Bono and Elle Macpherson outside the United Nations in New York, telling world leaders to take action ‘In My Name' against poverty.
Over the last year, Rahul has made climate change the focus of his work. In 2009, he gave a series of lectures across Canada, talking about the impact that climate change is already having in South Asia and emphasizing the Canadian government's weak position. He used his lectures and media interviews to call on voters to use their political clout, urging people to write letters and visit local politicians to lobby for greener policies.
In the same year Rahul represented Oxfam at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen. He joined tens of thousands of demonstrators at a mass rally and candlelight vigil outside the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen. Rahul addressed the crowds and reminded world leaders that future generations would be watching closely.
A passionate campaigner for social justice, Rahul's determination to make a difference by highlighting injustice and lobbying for change has never flagged.