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Shilpa Shetty


Shilpa Shetty helps to raise 63,000 pounds for charity

London, July 2, 2008

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty won the Global diversity Award 2008 here for making a significant contribution to the public appreciation and understanding of diversity.

She also helped the organisers to raise 63,000 pounds for a charity - the Silver Star Appeal - that runs mobile diabetes assessment units.

Stepping in to galvanise the charity auction, a dinner with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Wembley, the Bollywood actress climbed up to the stage, took the mike and told the audience last night that the winner would get a "kiss from me" Then she hastened to add "It will be on the cheek. I don't want my effigies burnt again." She was obviously referring to the controversy over the Hollywood star Richard Gere kissing her on stage during an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi in April last year which resulted in some Hindu nationalists burning her effigies and slapping court cases against her and Gere in India.

A young man who pledged 12,500 pounds for the dinner picked up three kisses from the Bollywood star on the cheek as a bargain.

Shilpa Shetty earlier in the day met British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who congratulated her on her winning the honour. Besides Shetty, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton was chosen for the award.

Keith Vaz, NRI Labour MP who launched the charity last year after being diagnosed as a diabetes patient, said the money raised would help buy the charity's third mobile unit. "One of these buses will be sent to India," Vaz said.