SEATTLE — Actress Priyanka Chopra is best known in the United States for her work on the television show “Quantico.” She has also worked as a Bollywood actress and singer, and is a former winner of the Miss World pageant.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Ms. Chopra is a humanitarian. Recognition of her philanthropic efforts has increased alongside her growing fame in the U.S.
However, humanitarian work is nothing new for Chopra.
It has been a decade since she set up a foundation in India to which she donates 10 percent of her earnings. She started the foundation after she realized that her family’s housekeeper only sent her son to school, leaving her daughter at home.
The foundation, called The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education, sponsors 70 children, the majority of whom are girls, according to India West.
In a piece she wrote for the New York Times, Chopra discussed her background, and how it led to her passion for humanitarian work.
Both of her parents were doctors in the Indian Army, and involved her in their work. During those experiences, she saw that young Indian girls did not receive the preferential treatment that Indian boys did. This influenced her to champion girls’ causes and education.
Chopra recently spoke to Glamour about the importance of building confidence in young girls, based on her own experience.
At the age of 13, she moved to the U.S. to live with a relative and attend school, and experienced the devastation of being discriminated against for her Indian heritage.
Chopra also spoke to Glamour about her work to improve girls’ education. Speaking of the children who benefit from her foundation, Chopra told Glamour, “I know each kid. It’s very personal.”
In addition to her private foundation, Chopra serves as an ambassador for Girl Rising, the campaign to improve girls’ education globally, and Girl Up, a United Nations foundation. She was also appointed as a National Ambassador to UNICEF for children’s rights in 2010.
Girl Rising’s CEO, Holly Gordon, told Glamour, “Priyanka is one of the most recognizable people on the entire Asian continent. It’s impossible to overestimate her power in making it acceptable to send girls to school.”