• Poonam Pandey was declared dead
  • But she did not die
  • The model wanted to draw attention to something

On Friday, shocking news shook the Indian public: Bollywood actress Poonam Pandey (32) had died of cervical cancer.

An emotional post on her Instagram profile, which was quickly shared by her more than one million followers and numerous media outlets, announced the 32-year-old's supposed death. The news caused consternation and sympathy across the country.

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Controversial turn of events: Poonam's death was fake

But the grief did not last long. Just one day later, Poonam revealed that her death was merely staged. Over the weekend, she published videos in which she explained the background of her actions.

Her aim was to raise awareness of cervical cancer - a disease that kills tens of thousands of women in India every year.

Despite the expected criticism, Poonam was proud of the attention generated and emphasized that the decision was not an easy one.

In one of her videos, she also apologized to those who had been hurt by her actions and mentioned that her own mother had been diagnosed with cancer.

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Debate: Is all attention good attention?

Poonam's unconventional awareness-raising method has sparked a heated debate. Is it acceptable to stage one's own death to draw attention to a serious health issue, or does this overstep the boundaries of good taste?

Criticism comes particularly from people who are personally confronted with cancer.

The discussion reflects the challenge of how to raise public awareness of important health issues without hurting the feelings of those affected.