The 35-year-old actor said he wondered why a film, which deals with something as serious as substance issue, hadn't been made yet.

"I did not know there was an issue like this (drug abuse in Punjab). When I read the script of 'Udta Punjab' I was worried for my brother, my family and for the youth in general... I felt why an honest film that doesn't colour it not been made. Most of the time, as actors we show people the beautiful side of life, but why forget about the real issues," Shahid told reporters here.

"This film talks about real issues. It is an issue for everybody, and not for any area as such. This is a film showing people who suffer, it says don't become like them, fight it," he said.

The 'Haider' star said it was imperative for him to do the movie as he feels it gives him an opportunity to contribute in creating awareness about drug abuse.

"The larger cause of the film is telling drugs is not a good thing and that's why I did it. There are a lot of films that I do will make numbers, but there are very few films that will give me opportunity to participate and create awareness (about social issues)," Shahid said.

'Udta Punjab' was mired in a controversy after the CBFC suggested several cuts, but the Bombay High Court yesterday green-lighted the film.

"Whoever wanted this film not to be released, they have actually helped the film become larger than it was. We were scared two days back about the release. You also go through that self-introspection, thinking was there something wrong. But I did like the script, so I did it," Shahid said.

"All the controversies were created without viewing it (the film)," he said.

The actor was all praise for his younger co-star, Alia Bhatt, for displaying courage in signing up for a role of a 'drug addict'.

"Give some credit to Alia Bhatt who is known to look desirable and lovely and who has the courage to go and play the role of drug addict (in "Udta Punjab")," he said.

"Why is she doing that to her image? Because there is some substance within her which is making her feel responsible enough to pick a role that is not just about looking desirable but a role which is real," Shahid added.

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