Prince Charles has named Katy Perry as an ambassador of the British Asian Trust charity, specifically to support its work reducing child trafficking and abuse across India over the next five years.
The global pop star will be working under the trust’s new Children Protection Fund, which will be chaired by Indian businesswoman/philanthropist Natasha Poonawalla.
Mumbai-based Poonawalla’s multimillion-pound pledge in support of the fund has greatly enabled its development, said the trust.
The announcement was made Feb. 4 at the charity’s annual royal dinner in London which was attended by over 200 distinguished supporters, including British Asian Trust ambassadors, politicians and business leaders.
The charity was founded by Prince Charles in 2007 to fight poverty in South Asia.
The Prince of Wales delivered a keynote speech, as well as Amar Lal, a survivor of child labor, whose personal experience highlighted the horror and injustice of child labor, said the trust.
The singer, who was already a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, met the prince in Mumbai in 2019 where she learned about the trust’s anti-trafficking work. She was keen to show her long-term support for the organization’s work to combat child labor in India, per the trust.
“Pleased to be appointed by HRH The Prince of Wales @clarencehouse as ambassador for @britishasiantst Children’s Protection Fund. India is a place I have a magnetic connection with, so I’m excited to be part of the work of helping the children of S. Asia,” Perry tweeted.
The organization estimates that there are 5.8 million children working in forced labor in India and believes that tens of thousands are working in hazardous workshops in Jaipur alone, producing goods including bangles, embroidery and other products, with many forced to work for up to 15 hours a day.
However, this announcement irked many on social media, who felt that an Asian or British Asian should have been named for the role.
“No offence, but katy perry as an ambassador for the british asian trust? what, could we not find a british asian to fill this role? there’s plenty of us,” one user wrote.
“I love Katy but seriously? She’s not British or is she Asian. There are SO MANY BRITISH ASIAN celebrities who should be in her place: Dev Patel, Jameela Jamil, Anjali Mohindra, Parminder Nagra and Riz Ahmed to name a few,” wrote another.
But fans of the 35-year-old singer soon came out in her defense.
“Well, maybe she’s doing more, supporting more or trust funding more than the other! good for her! There’s many celebrities that won’t move a finger to help other nations,” remarked one fan.
“We have nothing good to say today so let’s get upset over how a highly influential celebrity is supporting a cause that they have no proximity to. Also, we don’t care if their influence makes the cause reach places and if they help people because hey, ethnicity,” commented another follower.