In a shocking twist of events, Indian actor Poonam Pandey — whose death was widely reported by Indian publications — posted a video on her Instagram announcing that she did not in fact die of cervical cancer and a prior post about her death was to bring “awareness” to the disease.
The actor’s official handle had stated that she passed away after a battle with cervical cancer, however, a day later Pandey posted a video stating she “was alive” and did not die of the cancer.
“Unfortunately I cannot say that about those hundreds and thousands of women who have lost their lives because of cervical cancer. It is not because they could not do anything about it, because they had no idea what to do about it,” she said in the video.
“I’m here to tell you that unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is preventable. All you have to do is get your tests done and you have to get your HPV vaccine. We can do this and more to make sure there is no more life lost to this disease,” she continued.
The actor urged people to log on to www.poonampandeyisalive.com.
In her caption, she wrote, “Let’s empower one another with critical awareness and ensure every woman is informed about the steps to take. Visit the link in the bio to delve deeper into what can be done. Together, let’s strive to put an end to the devastating impact of the disease and bring”.
Netizens were surprised at her “cheap publicity stunt”, with many condemning her move.
Others pointed out that there were “better ways” to spread awareness.
We couldn’t agree more — there are definitely better ways to raise awareness than faking your own death, especially when you have over a million followers on social media.
Pandey, however, maintains that her actions were for a good cause. In a series of pictures she stated, “appreciated the warmth and concern” but the “unexpected turn of events, albeit startling, serves a greater purpose”.
She implored her followers to “consider the greater cause”, adding that the “sheer lack of understanding surrounding this issue was the mere reason that compelled” her to take the “unconventional step.
“Just the day before the Union Budget highlighted the cause as well but I can say with certainty that only a small fraction would’ve registered it. It’s intriguing how such vital information was at the forefront yet failed to capture the press’ attention until the narrative took a dramatic turn with the news of my death to cervical cancer,” she wrote.