WATCH: Indian actress Poonam Pandey makes first public appearance after fake cancer death row

Indian actress-model Poonam Pandey, who was at the receiving end of a severe backlash for faking her own death, made her first public appearance post the fiasco on Thursday. As she stepped out and was questioned by the media, she stood her ground and stated that she did not pull off the stunt for publicity but instead, for saving lives of thousands of women.

Poonam Pandey was spotted paying a visit to the Laxmi Narayan Temple in Andheri, Mumbai. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal.
Actress-model Poonam Pandey. Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal.

Poonam Pandey was spotted paying a visit to the Laxmi Narayan Temple in Andheri, Mumbai, on Thursday. The 32-year-old looked radiant in a yellow kurta-palazzo set with a pink dupatta.

As soon as she reached the temple, the paparazzi bombarded her with questions, asking how she was as they stated their concerns. “Aap darr gaye the, maine daraya bilkul bhi nahi tha,” (You got scare, I did not scare you at all) she responded.

Pandey then went on to state that she is ready to die a thousand deaths if it helped to spread awareness about cervical cancer and save the lives of women. “I don’t need publicity, main bachpan se famous hoon (famous since I was a child). This was for a good cause and people around the country are now talking about cervical cancer. Women are now taking vaccinations. It’s a beautiful thing and we should celebrate it. So many lives have been saved,” she said.

She also slammed the ones who criticised her and said, “All those poeple criticising me on social media, have they ever posted anything or have they done anything to create awareness about cervical cancer? Jalne wale jalenge… (those who want to feel bad will feel bad).”

It all began when a few days ago, an official statement on Poonam Pandey’s social media handle read that the actress had passed away due to cervical cancer. However, a day later, she ‘came back to life’, and announced that it was a marketing gimmick to stir conversation around cervical cancer and its vaccination.

Post the gimmick, she had claimed that her efforts ensured that the words ‘cervical cancer’ appeared in over 500 news headlines on the same day and reached netizens not just in India but across the globe.

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)