Bollywood Roundup: Priyanka Chopra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonali Bendre, and Vikas Verma

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Priyanka Chopra (Photo: Twitter)

Priyanka Chopra turns tech investor

New York– Actress Priyanka Chopra is excited to embark on a new “chapter” as an investor in tech start-up Holberton School, a coding education company, as well as in dating and social media app Bumble.

This is also an effort on her part to help change the tech industry’s gender disparity.

“A new chapter for me! I am so excited to partner with Bumble and Holberton School as an investor. I’m honoured to join two companies that strive to expand gender diversity in the tech space, and make a social impact for the greater good… let’s do this,” Priyanka tweeted on Thursday.

It is her first project as a start-up investor, and Priyanka recently toured the San Francisco home of her new portfolio company — the school which uses projects and group learning instead of more traditional courses, to teach software development, according to The New York Times.

The actress’ investment in Holberton is part of an $8.2 million round of funding for Holberton that closed in April. She will join the company’s board of advisers, and will emphasise support for Holberton’s mission to educate people from underprivileged backgrounds.

Her investments will skew heavily toward companies with an element of social impact, and companies founded by women.

Jacqueline lends helping hand to rebuild Kerala

Mumbai– Actress Jacqueline Fernandez will travel to flood-affected areas in Kerala to volunteer to build homes with NGO Habitat for Humanity India.

Jacqueline Fernandez

In a bid to rebuild Kerala after the massive floods which devastated the state in August, Habitat for Humanity India is launching the second edition of Jacqueline Builds, a unique campaign featuring the actress. It will take place in December, with focus on rebuilding homes that were fully or partially damaged by the floods.

Jacqueline will also urge fans to come together to rebuild Kerala.

“The recent flood in Kerala has severely affected thousands of families and damaged homes. This is the time when the people in Kerala need our wholehearted support to bring life back on track. That’s the reason why I will be coming to Kerala reconstruct homes, rebuild lives. I am looking forward to meeting people in Kerala and work with the volunteers there,” the Sri Lankan beauty said in a statement.

In the first phase of the relief operations, the NGO provided First Responders’ Kit, Humanitarian Aid Kit and bottled drinking water to 93,889 families. In the second and third phase, Habitat for Humanity India will be constructing and repairing homes for 6,000 flood-affected families in Pathanamthitta, Allepey, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad in Kerala to rehabilitate them.

“With Jacqueline Builds, we would like to intensify our efforts to build homes for the affected people in those regions,” said Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India.

“We are thankful to Jacqueline for agreeing to be a part of the mission to rebuild Kerala. Previously with Jacqueline Builds, she helped us in reaching out to celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan to help flood-affected families in Tamil Nadu,” Samuel added.

Sonali Bendre sends emotional message for ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’ finale

Mumbai– Actress Sonali Bendre Behl found a way to be a part of the “India’s Best Dramebaaz” finale with an emotional video message for the reality show’s team from New York, where she is undergoing treatment for metastatic cancer.

Sonali Bendre Behl (Photo: Twitter)

Sonali was a part of the judges panel of the show with Vivek Oberoi and Omung Kumar, but Huma Qureshi stepped into her shoes when she left following her cancer diagnosis. However, she keeps tuned into the show.

“Hi everyone. I am so happy to see all the kids doing so well on the show. I am missing the entire team of ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’ so much. I wish I could just be there with all of you. Vivek keeps sending me the messages of the kids all the time and they’re all so sweet, it makes me cry,” a statement quoted Sonali as saying in a video message.

Hosted by Shantanu Maheshwari and Vighnesh Pande, the Zee TV show is a talent-search which has children between the ages of 5-12 years as the participants.

Sonali further said: “I want to thank Huma from the bottom of my heart for stepping in at the last minute. It means a lot. For Shantanu, I just want to say that I was so excited to work with you after so many years, but it had to end this way. I miss everyone a lot.

“But I promise I will come back soon. I just want to tell something to all the finalists, some will lose and one will win, but everyone is wonderful and all of you have learned a lot in this entire journey which will help everyone a lot in the future.”

The finale will air on Sunday.

Vikas Verma to play Seleucus Nicator in ‘Porus’

Mumbai– Actor Vikas Verma, who did a negative role in the film “Mom”, will play Seleucus Nicator, the trusted general of Alexander the Great, in the TV show “Porus”.

Vikas Verma

“I had played historical characters in 2009, but this time I am excited for this character. Seleucus Nicator is a ruthless warrior who is ambitious, sharp, powerful and cruel as well,” Vikas, who featured in “Jhansi Ki Rani”, said in a statement.

“He is a very stubborn leader who wants to win India. His use of political conspiracies and strategic warfare is mind-blowing and I am really excited to play this part,” he added.

Asked about his preparations for the character, Vikas said: “I am a mimicry artiste and this time, I am going to play with my voice. I am going to modify my dialogues into a slow and husky voice, kind of similar to Amitabh Bachchanji in ‘Sarkar Raj’. In other negative characters, I had to play myself but this time it is going to be different.” (IANS)

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